Robert Reich in a recent post featured on #politics.
This is the most frequent plight for a governing body. To the left it’s obvious; if government is reduced and spending is cut then corporations will run rampant and infrastructure will deteriorate at the cost of massive loss of life or too much wealth accumulation at the top, or both. But let’s take a closer look at government’s role in these things.
The BP oil disaster last summer is often blamed on ignoring safety regulations imposed on oil rigs to avoid those very disasters. A lot of people blame Dick Cheney and his “deregulation” throughout the early part of last decade as the chief cause that led up to the disaster. But is this the case? Shortly after the explosion and subsequent oil spill and the Obama administration’s non-response it became apparent that there was more to the story than just “Cheney’s deregulation!” Almost one year before the Deepwater Horizon disaster the Obama Administration purposely excluded that very oil rig from regulatory requirements. The regulations were in place! The Obama White House was just arbitrarily deciding which oil rigs, and subsequently which companies had to comply with them. The crony capitalistic tendencies of Obama continue throughout this story. In an ideal world (for most lefties) there would be a benevolent governing body there to govern corporations and big businesses that pollute the environment. Why then was BP’s liability for restoration of the Gulf capped at $75 million? Perhaps it has something to do with BP’s campaign contributions to Barack Obama? So, an oil rig explodes, it takes our president weeks, if not months to react. He reacts by capping how much they’re liable to pay to those affected and he is the biggest recipient of this oil company’s political contributions. Doesn’t sound so strong and effective if you ask me.
As for the nuclear meltdown in Japan the same could be said for the ignorance of regulations already in place. A whistleblower even said the department of government responsible for oversight of nuclear energy wasn’t doing their job. It’s obvious though isn’t it? I’m optimistic enough to believe that government agents aren’t in the business of killing people. They actually think they are helping their fellow countryman. But I still think they’re human, and I still think they are capable of succumbing to the follies of corruption and when given the opportunity, government and business will collude to the betterment of themselves at the expense of the consumer.
If you think Wall Street malfeasance is the result of less government your kidding yourself. You’re even more deluded if you think Wall Street has it’s power and can do the things it does without the assist from government. Just look at the top political contributors to Obama in 2008. In some cases these donations were triple of what they gave to McCain (Goldman Sachs donated more to Obama than any Republican running for House, Senate or President combined in 2008). What has Wall Street reform done? It’s benefitted the banks mostly, failed to reform the cause of the financial crisis; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You would be correct in assuming a 2k page bill aimed at reforming Wall Street would play some favoritism.
Ah, yes. Escalating healthcare costs are the perfect reason to call for more government. Ignore the fact that bureaus like the FDA are responsible for 150% increases in medications costs literally overnight. Ignore the fact that before the AMA and licensing laws were implemented people could get healthcare for virtually pennies on the dollar. But like I’ve noted many times on my blog, the rising costs in healthcare convey a rising value of healthcare.
But conversely, freer markets do lead to a better “collective well-being.” Countries with more economic freedom enjoy longer life expectancy and greater access to healthcare than countries without those economic freedoms (See also here). Allowing free people to be free will have the best outcome for the collective one could hope for. It requires acknowledging that virtually every government regulation or policy will have unintended consequences that often times hurt the group it’s trying to help.
I could go on and on and on but I feel I’ve made my point. Governments are not benevolent do-gooders here to protect us from ourselves. Governments are composed of individuals like you and me that have the same human drives and emotions you and I have.
I’ll leave with a quote:
“If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?” — Frederic Bastiat
Why waste all these words, when all you had to say was “Nah-uh, the government did it.”
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