Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Who Wins? Who Loses?

For decades whenever a serious attempt at economic planning, referred to as Industrial Policy, has reached the point of debate on a national stage, the opposition would cry out "We don't pick winners and losers in America. We have Private Enterprise and a Free Market. Our economy is based on Capitalism, not Socialism!"

In this Great Recession of 2007-2010, take a look around at this "market."
Who is winning? Those who started out with the most gold, the most land, the best inheritance, the legacy education. With lobbyists to burn, with a congress beholden to them for successful election campaigns, the elites on Wall Street and in Country Clubs across the land, now have the opportunity to acquire more property at a discount - for the taking. Empty storefronts and abandoned construction sites dot the landscape. Foreclosed housing everywhere. Their winnings are manifold and their enterprises truly have become TOO BIG TO FAIL. Financial enterprises that are more than banks and more than insurance companies. Global corporations that set the rules we live by.

We the People have "picked' these winners. Don't tell me we haven't. What we haven't done has let them thrive.

The title of this blog is "Deregulate This!" On or about 1980 the idea of "Deregulation" was taking hold on a national scale. Lessons learned in the Great Depression had faded from the national memory. First it was "deregulate the airlines," then telephones, and other public utilities - gas, electric, water. Without pesky regulators, free marketeers could compete freely and lower costs; create new efficiencies for the greater good.

Yes, but it was the greater good of the owners, not as it turned out, the good of customers or the workers.

So who have we picked as losers? Wage earners, military service personnel, the disabled, less educated, immigrants, those caught in cycles of poverty and criminality, the sick.

In New York harbor there is a statue that bears reading once more. Let's pick again.
Pick some new winners this time. What can be more revolutionary than the United States of America?

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