Trickle Up Economics

We’re learning that a mainstream Democrat reacts to his or her fears of an economic Depression the way a Republican does to the threat of WMDs.

Was not the whole point of free-market capitalism that the market regulates itself?  We stop buying Chinese toys when too many Chinese toys contain toxic materials?  Or if too many 747s crash, I’m done flying with that airline.  This is the only incentive the powerful corporations have to do good.  It’s the same whether the product is toys that poison our kids or planes that malfunction or financial expertise that turns out to be shitty advice.  The freedom to succeed leads to a more efficient and productive society.  That’s the anti-regulation rationale that props up capitalism while condemning socialism.  And at the risk of angering fuzzy mainstream liberals, I tend to agree with it.  But only if the same reasoning is applied uniformly.  Which it won’t be if this Wall Street Bailout or any subsequent version of it gets passed.

Just as businesses must be “allowed” to succeed, they also should be free to fail.  Currently only the masses are free to do that.  Only when our failure finally trickles up to economic elites do any of them consider changing how they do business–not out of some altruistic concern for the greater good but because they understand we won’t be buying their products anymore if we’re all broke from chronic overconsumption.  The risks that are said to balance the free market and naturally compel people to responsibly self-regulate are only useful if they constrain all of us equally.  This bailout sets a precedent whereby some are so powerful as to warrant their own safety net.  We can no longer take the risk of our risks applying to them, so the rich get their very own safety net as long as their mistakes endanger the rest of us as well.

If those who lend money to hardworking Americans are incompetent and/or corrupt, then they deserve the same fate as Chinese toy makers. That’s freedom, no? If a “free market” government can’t be bothered to intervene on behalf of the common man, then shouldn’t the common man be “free” to gradually inform himself? And if an informed citizenry means people will self-regulate more and start to live within our means, then maybe The Market deserves this hangover. But instead of learning from our mistakes, 2/3 of House Democrats and 1/3 of their opponents advocate borrowing our way out of them, to the detriment of future generations. The result is an entire society that doesn’t understand the value of a dollar, where we tax the poor and give to the rich.

Why give us more reasons to try to keep up with the Jones’es?  Now is the time to laugh at the Jones’es, as they’ve been laughing at us for some time now.


~ by Matthew Frederick on October 1, 2008.

5 Responses to “Trickle Up Economics”

  1. couldn’t agree on the free market, anti-bailout argument…

    we have to bail them out for a fatter bottomline, and they deem it an emergency…

    when our jobs pay less and we can’t afford the doctor, then we’re being whiners who want to unduly bog down the federal budget… such wasteful spending that whole “life” thing is…

    thanks a huge humanist ton for posting this

    one struggle, one love,
    –reverend manny

  2. I don’t have any problems with a truly free, but regulated market.

    We don’t have that.

  3. Hello, Mr Voorhees.
    Shuffle a deck of 52 cards, and what you have left is a deck of 52 cards.
    Shuffle it 10 times, and you still have 52 cards.
    Shuffle it 30, even 70 times, and you still have 52 cards.

    The real assets haven’t collapsed. Not a bit.
    It’s the leveraging that is going downhill.

    And high time that risk once again became assessed as risky.
    Otherwise, the prices have no value.

    Crazy how everything is an agenda these days….

  4. Solid post.

  5. PT: agree

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