CNN described the undertaking now in progress whereby the United States Government is attempting to bail out the banking and financial system of their country as "unprecedented" and the "biggest intervention in the market system in history." Far more learned authorities and scholars will view this event more or less important than I from my humble perspective but I think this is really important.
The factors involved are so fundamental and so linked to the essence of the Republican neo-conservative mind set that it really needs a much more grandiose word than "failure." Let's just think this over. Financial critics and economists have been condemning the Bush administration since it was elected. Over and over on this web site for the past eight years we have posted dire warning that the actions of the Bush government are potentially catastrophic to the very free market system that he and his supporters set forth as the guiding light of the world. But there is more to this, historically the whole basis of Reagan's "trickle down" concept, Margaret Thatcher and her policies and here in Canada the bankrupt legacy of the Mulroney era have pointed toward serious problems.
Despite the warning signs the voters of Canada and United States have been putting into power what they refer to as "strong leaders" who believe implicitly in the free market system. These leaders have followed their political principles and put into effect the concept that less government is better government and let the economy flow in a "natural" way. This flow lead the the ridiculous situation in the United States where a country went to war and cut taxes. It saw the government printing money to pay for its operations and lending money to its financial institutions at ten cents on the dollar so they in turn have been encouraging the American consumer to spend much more than they earn. The ultimate pain was to encourage people to buy houses well beyond their means with mortgages that simply were not sustainable. No regulations in place, it was the wild economic west.
You know what happened. The whole system has collapsed on itself with so much impact that government has no option whatever but to fix the problem that it created. This is the definition of socialism sports fans, the very form of government that they Bush and Harpers of the world make fun of but last night they realised there was no other option.
The serious problem is that the politicians north and south of the border seem to have missed the point. Their economic system has failed miserably and bailing it out is clear admission that the free market is a failure. This struck me yesterday as Democratic Vice President candidate Joe Biden pointed out that increasing taxes to those earning over a quarter million dollars annually was a patriotic thing to do. In only an hour or so later the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin made fun of Biden's remarks, trimmed away the amount he had mentioned and it was a huge joke that paying taxes was a patriotic thing to do. Now just think that over a second and realise that the Republicans, both the politicians and their supporters live in pretty much a false world where they believe that they deserve the cream.
Take away the details and just look at the over all concept of what has taken place and you realise that the Conservative concepts that guide Mr. Harper and his brain dead crowd and similarly the Republicans and their free lunch bunch, are ignoring the collapse of the free market system that has just happened. You can ignore it as well, you can pretend that it didn't happen, or that it is just a one time thing, but the reality is hard and serious. The American stock market has been interfered with to the point of banning "short selling" of stocks and the cost to the American tax payer to save Wall Street will definitely exceed a trillion dollars.