Active Rain November 2, 2010

Am I Becoming a Bleeding Heart Liberal?

Yet again, I find myself nodding in agreement with the latest New York Times editorial on the mortgage mess. This has me wondering if I am becoming like so many other NY Times readers, some sort of limousine liberal, anti-business, anti-free market, pro government intervention, lefty. I was always a laissez fair kind of entrepreneur, against government regulation and supportive of the Adam Smith, Invisible Hand notion that market forces will stabilize even the most troubled of times. 

What happened? Why am I agreeing with the Times? I have even agreed with Paul Krugman’s last two columns! Paul Krugman!! Has the world turned upside down? Am I um, changing? Hell, 31 readers  have “liked” my last comment on the editorial! I used to get about three. And my friend Pam told me that I was echoing some things said by Ariana Huffington. 

Now that I ponder it, I see two forces at work. 

  1. The problems and injustice I see is so pervasive that both conservative and liberal sensibilities have common ground. The recognition of the problems and need for action is bi-partisan. 
  2. I have always viewed the government’s role as that of a referee who should not interfere with the game, but ensure that the rules are followed. I am pissed because the ref is not whistling a foul. We just had a mugging on the field, facemask, pass interference, balk, travelling, high sticking, offsides, and no whistle. 
As I have posted before, Jefferson envisioned a nation of self employed farmers. He didn’t envision a free market dominated by entities so huge that they could push the government around. But that’s what we have. What has happened in the financial markets is not capitalism or free enterprise as much as it has been the exploitation of the free market and the bastardization of capitalism. And our government has given us acronyms that haven’t worked instead of showing some backbone and making the lenders, who were bailed out with  hundreds of billions, do the right thing. 
And the Times, like myself, is asking the umpire to call the foul. It isn’t political. It is just obvious.