Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Glories Of Deregulation

You would think that the all the industrial disasters would make it clear to America that trusting private industry to police themselves is not a good idea.  We've had a financial meltdown on Wall Street that nearly destroyed the entire economy, a coal mining disaster that left 28 men dead in West Virgina, a cave-in in Kentucky that killed two more, and now an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11, injured 17, and is going to destroy much of the coastal ecosystems of Louisiana.

How many more explosions, cave-ins, fires, or frauds do we need to go through to catch on that human beings are fallible?  Greed makes us forget about long-term issues like safety and security over short-term gains.  It is inherent in our structure, and expecting a profit-making entity to police itself properly and reliably is crazy.  An external arbiter with no vested interest is needed to keep everyone honest.  That is the role of the government regulator.

Reaganomics was wrong on so many levels it makes my head hurt.  I was screaming about how it was foolishness  and its proponents were being deliberately dishonest back in 1980.  I take no pleasure in being able to say "I told you so."  Another unfortunate aspect of human nature is that we will selectively listen only to those things that we want to hear.  Reagan promised that deregulation and cutting taxes would lead to financial paradise.  The slightest bit of analysis showed it to be complete nonsense, but everyone wanted to believe it was true, and willingly bought the lie.

The most frustrating part is that too many people still haven't figured out it was all a big lie, and still support this idiocy.  Even if we do get it straightened out, once we're all gone there will me more demagogues to sell this snake oil to the public again.  Human nature is not about to change any time soon.

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