Wednesday, October 08, 2008

It's Going to Be a Long Winter

And by winter, I might mean decade. I have an ever-growing ill feeling in my gut that the historical significance of the current crisis will not be credit crunch, the metamophasis of Wall Street, or even the Bailout-package; but, rather, it will be the era in which the United States dumped the free market once and for all in favor a failed idea of central control. Matt Welch seems to share my thoughts:

It is a whiplash-inducing thing, having lived through the Central Europeans' response to their much-graver "economic crises" of the early 1990s—basically, getting the government out of the ownership business, and letting the sold-off chunks fail if need be—and then coming back here to see both major political parties and the establishmentarian media get a national case of the vapors when a decade-long credit binge finally dries out a bit, and unemployment ticks up to a once-enviable 6.1 percent.

And the reason:

In the meantime, we are also witnessing the full flower of what happens when a Republican who has never really worked in the private sector, who emulates the Wall Street-bashing of Teddy Roosevelt, and who has been explicitly railing against the "libertarian" wing of his own party for more than a decade, finally sees his lifelong prize dangled tantalizingly within his grasp. If you thought his economic policies were bad back before he ever had a real shot at the White House, is it really any surprise that in a time of high financial anxiety he's running to the economic left of Bill Clinton?

With friends like these...