Lou Dobbs makes me laugh! He’s so funny! He said tonight on CNN that the markets should be allowed to take care of themselves! Abso-smurfly Mr Dobbs! Just like Herbert Hoover said in 1929! We’re all just a bunch of old rugged individualists in here! Pullin’ ourselves up by our bootstraps!

I said in an earlier post that the Repubs might have scored some political points for — once again — being the only party that will stand up for what it believes in. Sadly what they believe in is wide spread unemployment, a run on banks, and if we’re really lucky a civil war.

As flawed as the bailout plan was, it was a good faith effort to keep the credit market liquid. The politics segment that followed Lou Dobbs was the height of irony. A very distressed looking CNN talking head pointed out that almost all of our paychecks are backed by credit. Yes Virginia, your company doesn’t have enough cash on hand all the time to pay its employees (just like the bank doesn’t have all its deposits in a vault waiting for you to withdraw them). They borrow money in the lean times to pay their employees, and they pay off the debt in the flush times. And I’m not just talking housing here. Any cyclical retail business like clothing, or a business with large monthly payouts and small margins like grocery stores, relies on daily credit to make ends meet. If the banks aren’t lending money to each other, you can bet your sweet paycheck they aren’t lending it to Banana Republic.

But wait — we ARE a banana republic! How do I know? I prove it thusly: the very same group of wise men who told us that deregulation was the key to freedom are now the people who are going to make us get breakfast — lunch and dinner! — at a breadline. Yum! That’s some tasty deregulation! Our leaders (not to mention free market Shamans like Dobbs) put ideology before common sense, and the result will be some hard times.

Would Adam Smith put ideology before common sense? In the first place, Smith was not an ideologue. He was an Aristotlean moral philosopher (meaning he believed in moderation in all things). In fact, the idea of a self-regulating market assumes that people won’t act against their self-interest for a crazy idea, like religion or, um, free market religion. In the second place, Smith had no idea how interconnected the world could be, how dependent on technology, how far removed billions of people could be from their sustaining food. If he were alive today he would undoubtedly council a moderate course of action that allows the government to intervene in public affairs to the extent that it guarantees personal freedoms — and our daily bread. Only a madman would stick to his religion if it meant the possible starvation of the poor.

And yet, that is exactly what the free market fundamentalists want. They would sacrifice you, me, themselves, and their families to Mammon, and today they put their money where their misplaced ideals are. Because you know they don’t care one bit about individual liberty — unless it means getting rich. And now that the people who got rich are getting out and leaving the Lou Dobbes and his followers to wonder what went wrong, they think it’s the tax and spend liberals who are going to make them poor. No friends, it’s the market that’s going to make you poor. Just like our beloved mother Nature, she doesn’t care about you or your suffering. You are a dodo, a dinosaur she’ll be happy to be rid of. We’ll all be stronger when the invisible hand of the free market extiguishes the free market fundamentalists.

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