Free Markets, Free People

Quote Of The Day

Disgust is a bi-partisan concept. Michael Goodwin again:

Ronald Reagan’s famous line that “government is the problem” kept going through my head as the AIG hearing demonstrated the dangers of Washington’s role in the economy. The very people, Republicans and Democrats alike, who can’t balance America’s budget now claim the expertise to run banks, insurance companies and automakers.

If we let them, we’re dumber than they are.

Amen.

~McQ

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20 Responses to Quote Of The Day

  • Of course in this case it’s the private sector that was the problem — government didn’t give contracts for huge bonuses despite poor performance, and top execs across the financial sector (and beyond) have been skimming off the top for some time — they have our 401K money.    Government has to regulate executive compensation and get these big shots to follow certain rules.   It’s clear that the idea that the free market can self-regulate is dangerous mythology — that lesson is being learned very well, I suspect in coming years we’ll see a new era where sensible regulation finally reigns in the greed and corruption of Wall Street and corporate America.  It’s about time!

    • Ugh Scott you are difficult to stomach.  You rail at the ‘free market’ as if we’ve had one.  The gov’t has been so involved the last 40 years or more that you wouldn’t know a free market if it was staring you in the face. 

      And please, pray tell what you take s on the Fannie and Freddie bonuses and how the governmental takeover of those institutions is working out.

      • We’ll never have a completely “free” market because it’s pretty clear that without rule of law and accountability they can’t function. Some can hold off some hope in a mythical totally free market that magically would make everyone free and happy, but that’s as likely as a communist utopia of the Marxian nature where the state whithers away and everything functions perfectly. One text I use for political economy is “The Myth of the Free Market” by Mark Martinez which demonstrates how “there would be no capitalist markets or wealth creation without state intervention.” He goes into history and economic theory to develop a pretty persuasive argument that people who chant the “free market” mantra are simply wrong — it’s a faith based view accepting a simplistic ideology.

        It was lack of regulation and the private sector that drove us into this crisis, not the government — and its the private sector that created bonus schemes and needed bailing out lest the credit market collapse. I just posted a blog entry on the possibility we need a much more massive solution to this crisis. I’m seriously starting to think that I’ve underestimated the need for government and global action as well.

        • If “Free Market” is the problem, why is Europe even worse off?

          • They aren’t worse off.  And, in fact, they should be better off, but they’ve suffered contagion from the US, thanks to AIG.   And, note that the two economies that are in the worst situation in western Europe are Ireland and Iceland, the two most free market oriented economies who used to be praised as models.  The Europeans aren’t as willing to deficit spend in this environment as the US, that could help them too – we’ll see. 

          • the two economies that are in the worst situation in western Europe are Ireland and Iceland, the two most free market oriented economies who used to be praised as models.

            Wouldn’t it have more to do with their economies being driven substantially by banking so much more than the rest of Europe? Erb wants to blame free market policies rather than look at the actual differences in what drives the different economies of Europe. But he’s an expert, don’t ya know.

  • Of course in this case it’s the private sector that was the problem

    No, Erb. Wrong. Not even close.

    — government didn’t give contracts for huge bonuses despite poor performance,

    No, that’s true. The companies did, with the government manddated union gun to their heads.

    Don’t tell me about how this proves the free market doesn’t work, Erb, because we’ve not had one for many decades. Each one of the businesses as are in trouble just now are the heaviest regulated industries in the world. Hadn’t that connection occurred to you?

    • If you’re saying the government forced the companies to give executives bonuses, you’re either making up obvious lies, or you really don’t know what you’re talking about.  Sheesh.  Moreover, these bonuses are prevalent throughout the system.  As for the “free market,” see my response to “meagain”.

      • Then perhaps you’d like to write a paper on “Porkulus, the spending spree” where Senator Dodd added language to make sure these executives got their bonus. (I realize, that was last month, and the wind has shifted, but alas, it’s still quite real).

        Yeah, you do that.  Then let’s talk about who’s lying.

        • And by the w ay, Erb… do you really consider that  Union pay and bennies at the low to mid levels didnt’ affect pay and bennies at the upper levels?
           

          • Ed, what are you smoking?   Do you really think unions caused massive bonuses to be paid?   Prove it.  Make your case.  What unions?  How, exactly, did they force massive bonuses to be paid?  Show your work.   You’re being utterly ridiculous.

    • If you’re saying the government forced the companies to give executives bonuses, you’re either making up obvious lies, or you really don’t know what you’re talking about. 

      Perhaps you’ve not been looking at the average UAW worker, then. So focused are you on your wealth evny, you forgot that ‘executives’ arent the only ones getting bonuses for little to no work. In the end, Scott, that’s where the damage is done. Not in one guy making millions per year. And shall we speak of the Fannie and freddie bonus structure?

      • Oh, I guess your name is Eric, not Ed.  In any event, you want to argue that UAW benefits are the cause of massive bonuses and huge executive compensation scandals throughout the financial industry.

        Do you realize how absurdly insane that claim is!?

      • Oh, I guess your name is Eric, not Ed

        I’ve noticed this about you. Your accuracy has a tendency to suffer when you speak.Another example:

        In any event, you want to argue that UAW benefits are the cause of massive bonuses and huge executive compensation scandals throughout the financial industry.

        Wrong as usual.

        The unions, their pay structure and work rules…(which should be called NO work rules) cause more damage to the various companies than CEO pay. Many times more. THe reason is simple enough; because of the population differences that’s where the real money, when totaled, is.

        DO I really need to explain this to you?

  • “Let” them?  We don’t “let” them: we ASK them to do it!  Even after they demonstrate, time and time again, just how crooked and incompetent they are, we practically BEG them to not only keep doing it, but take on even more.

    “What???  The government pays $400 for a hammer???  Outrageous!  We need to put them in charge of providing medical care to all Americans!”

    “What???  The government can’t balance the budget and has us in debt to the Red Chinese up to our eyeballs???  Outrageous!  We need to put them in charge of all the financial sector!”

    “What???  Charlie Rangle and Tim Geithner don’t pay their taxes???  Outrageous!  We need to put them in charge of overhauling the tax system to make it more fair!”

  • M.G. forgot to add, “and health care,” to the end of that statement.

  • Are your students aware they are being ripped off?

  • To Scott Erb :  if the GOVERNMENT had not propped up AIG with our (taxpayer) capital, the company would have gone bankrupt and those nasty exec’s would have received NADA in bonus money. Free market indeed.

  • It never ceases to amaze me, those who distrust people, but only if they are in the private sector , those in government are infallable and to be trusted entirely( only democrats of course).