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Cognative Dissonnance, WaPo style
Posted by: McQ on Monday, October 20, 2008

Surprisingly, the Washington Post finally admits something we've been saying for quite some time:
IS THIS the end of American capitalism? As financial panic spread across the globe and governments scrambled to contain the damage, reality seemed to announce the doom of U.S.-style free markets and President Bush's ideology. But this is wrong in two ways. The deregulation of U.S. financial markets did not reflect only the narrow ideology of a particular party or administration. And the problem with the U.S. economy, more than lack of regulation, has been government's failure to control systemic risks that government itself helped to create. We are not witnessing a crisis of the free market but a crisis of distorted markets.
Question - what entity was responsible for creating the "distorted markets?"

Answer - the same one which is now telling you how well it could manage your health care.

By the way, the WaPo, true to form, isn't really that upset that government was distorting markets, it was more upset that it failed at it's effort.

It concludes its admission with an admonishment:
The new capitalist model that emerges from this crisis must operate according to more consistent principles. The Fed should set interest rates with the long-run value of the dollar in mind. Government must be more selective about manipulating markets; over the long term, business works best when it is subject to market discipline alone. In those cases — and there will and should be some — in which government intervenes on behalf of social goals, its support must be counterbalanced with taxpayer protections and regulation. Government-sponsored, upside-only capitalism is the kind that's in crisis today, and we say: Good riddance.
And we say, "you're insane", because, as we all know, the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Note the admission which comes after the startling claim that "government must be more selective about manipulating markets":
"... over the long term, business works best when it is subject to market discipline alone."
If you've ever wanted an example of cognitive dissonance, I can't imagine a better one. On the one hand, WaPo admits that business works best when subject to "market discipline" and on the other agrees that government should intrude and "manipulate markets" (so much for "market discipline") for "worthy social goals?"

A) who gets to decide what social goals are "worthy" and thus B) which markets are to be selectively manipulated? Finally C) didn't they learn anything from what just happened?
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Previous Comments to this Post 

And we want cake and candy and lots and lots of pretty ponies!


What you are looking at is a particular type of insanity that might be called semi-socialism: interfering in the markets just enough to stop bad things happening. I think that this is exactly what the WaPo sneeringly - and ironically - refers to as "sponsored, upside-only capitalism".

The problem is exactly what you say: WHO will decide WHICH industries will get WHAT interference, and HOW will this be accomplished?

The answer to the first question is the Congress. From there... well, think about the various choices that can be made and then pick the most stupid to know what the Congress will do.

The WaPo, along with the rest of the media, is complicit in all of this due to their inability / refusal to clearly define how we got into this present mess. At best, they can only manage to bring themselves to say that this is a crisis of "distorted markets" without being able to say how the market was distorted and (as importantly) who made those decisions.

So, we’re going to destroy the free market in America and we’ll all pay a heavy price for that.

Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
Hey, I hear Zimbabwe has had a lot of practice with wealth redistribution. I bet Barry’s story will be the same.
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
The best part of the article is the Obama ads that show up when you click the link to read the actual article. Like "Wisconsin Find Your Early Vote Location" and "visit the official barack obama website now". The Dems will kill the American model with the help of the liberal media, welcome to European style capitalism. I wonder how long until you start hearing stories of states wanting to go at it alone. I bet Vermont will be the last!
Written By: Commander Tom
URL: http://
"we legislated that you loan money to people who didn’t qualify for the loans, we didn’t tell you to be irresponsible about it."

"If we had some ham, we could have some ham and eggs....if we had some eggs."
Written By: daves
URL: http://
"interfering in the markets just enough to stop bad things happening."

Which pretty much describes what has been happening for a few generations, now. Basically the WashPost just wants more of the same, just more effective.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The washington post editorial page is great, when you need a mumbling of incoherent platitudes. Otherwise, not so much.

Look, we agree on something.
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Isn’t the Washington Post a media property of billionaire Warren Buffet?
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