Monday, September 22, 2008

This is from my dad, who submitted it to the New York Times Op-ed page. The Times, like most mainstream institutions, is run by a bunch of idiots these days, though there are still some smart people there... Or at least Krugman. Anyway, here it is:

A Taxpayer's Manifesto

By Ira Glasser

Socialism has now come openly and explicitly to America. And it has come to save free market capitalism. What else can one call it when the government takes over entire huge private sector entities for the good of society; when hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars are pumped into failed private sector entities; when the government decides which entities shall die--Lehman-- and which survive--A.I.G.; and when the stock market is "rescued" by talk of creating a permanent government agency to do all that on a vast and permanent basis? OK, I accept all that, as conservatives and liberals alike seem to be doing. These recent actions by the government are necessary for the greater good of society. OK, fine. But then here are some things I never want to hear again from free market ideologues:

1. That the free market is self-correcting;

2. That the free market must always be protected from government regulation and control lest its growth, and the growth of the American economy, be stifled;

3. That any regulatory constraints on economic activities to prevent calamitous excesses is forbidden, while massive government takeovers to remedy those excesses is welcome;

4. That universal single-payer health care, like Medicare for everyone, is socialized medicine, to be avoided like the plague, and that health care should be left instead to the mystic genius of the free market;

5. That school voucher systems can provide the poor with better education through that same mystic genius;

6. That Individual Retirement Accounts invested in the stock market will provide ordinary people with retirement security better than Social Security;

7. That corporate defined contribution retirement plans that give employees their very own 401(k) accounts to manage and invest are better for ordinary people than defined benefit pension plans in which the employer assumes the long term risks and benefits of market fluctuations;

8. That greed and self interest, unregulated and unconstrained, is the surest way to economic paradise, and that government intervention is a road to serfdom;

9. That Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan were economic saviors, as opposed to John Maynard Keynes, John Kenneth Galbraith, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal;

10. And finally, that Republican de-regulators are interested in cutting taxes for ordinary Americans, when the taxes cut are vanishingly small next to the hundreds of billions of dollars of debt the government has now assumed that will have to be paid by those same taxpayers, their children and their grandchildren.

If this is morning in America, perhaps it is time we all woke up.

I registered my agreement, and was inspired to type this:

This is just the final act of the big scheme where a bunch of wealthy people annoyed by democracy got together, masqueraded as politicians, and stole every penny that the United States of America had. And then they ran up our credit cards and pocketed the money. And when it started to look like we couldn't pay our credit card bills, they sold our children's future wages to China.

This deal will make the budget deficit for 2008 exceed one thousand billion dollars. That's a trillion, isn't it? Let's go back to 1980 when Reagan was attacking Carter for running up deficits of 80 billion. They've gradually desensitized us to these insane, ridiculous amounts of spending.

But this is the Bush Grift. It's what they've always done. Take over a company (or in this case, a country), run it into the ground and run off with the loot.


Blogger Andy said...

Who is this Glasser guy? He's great!

10:02 AM  

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