Some fan mail received from one of my “winger” friends (just for kicks):

Your President and his cabinet of clowns have totally screwed up the car companies of GM and Chrysler. GM is now called Government Motors, and Chrysler is now, Chisler Motors. How can a bankrupt company, GM buy for 2 billion $, Delphi parts. This just going to be a white elephant that will continue to have to be prop up under govt, control.

The govt. should have let both companies close their doors. At that point new management would of came in under strict guidelines. All groups would have to make large concessions. The dealerships that were too weak monetarily would have closed, instead of the govt, choosing which ones will close. Fascism and nationalism is not the way to go. Protectionism is the next thing to come then full blown socialism. You work for what the govt says you need. And the govt officials and cronies take the best.

Nothing is for free, especially liberty.

To which I replied:

It appears you are against the government bailout of auto companies. This I figure, not from your logic, but from your bitterness. And though I agree with much of your worries, I find these measures necessary following a twenty-five plus year deregulation of American capitalism — a vacuum filled since the collapse of communist Russia — in a thoughtless, greedy manner.

For better than a generation, corporations without a public compass (ruthless private sector proponents by design) had been given carte blanche in a push back to communism throughout the cold war. After the fall of the Berlin wall, some contraction of the military-industrial complex took place, but only under duress. Power is never relinquished willingly, so the next generation of big business advocates sought new enemies, to replace the Russian bear. Some entertained thoughts of a US led international police force. Hegemony has its rewards, but nothing generates profit like old fashioned war. Yet the instability of aggression seeds its own destruction and that of imperial design.

At least four presidential administrations prior to the inauguration of Barack Obama, reduced regulation and federal oversight on business after the fall of the Soviet Union. This philosophy fostered a climate of corporate welfare which we witness today. We now pay for this abuse of the public trust, as we naively discover that the private sector will not self regulate. The equity was lost between good governance and private enterprise. Corrective measures may move our nation very close to that which you fear — protectionism and socialism. But again, the ruthlessness of unfettered capitalism is cause for our veering away from so-called free enterprise.

The risk is the greater since Bush & Co. consolidated unitary power at the expense of individual liberties. A desire to deregulate business, while promoting militarism, would be the basis for your fear of runaway nationalism bordering fascism. Bush (our first MBA president), hoped to postpone the recession which followed massive government spending through military build up and deployment while reducing revenue streams (also unprecedented). Deregulation introduced aggressive, unsustainable business models which generated enormous short term profits with forecasts of impending doom. Unfortunately for pocket conservatives, the pyramid game of inflated home prices through overstated property values, coupled with extended credit without merit, tumbled before the schemers who enabled this fiasco could escape office. Polls repeatedly show most folks correctly blame Republican policy for our current mess.

So our country must choose between the near-term socializing of eminent corporations employing huge numbers of US workers, or follow laissez-faire demands for massive business failure. Without a doubt, the latter choice seems the most equitable. A hands-off policy adopted in the 1920’s by three consecutive Republican presidents led to the Great Depression. The Democrat who followed this disaster was also accused of socialism for introducing the Social Security Administration and funding public works programs. The US would have survived in some fashion without these humanitarian measures, but many poor working Americans would surely have suffered deeper into the 1930’s without these welfare models for public responsibility.

Perhaps you disagree. Your tone is remarkably dour. Your speech is inflammatory and derogatory with no reasonable argument. You rail against perceived wrongs and write outlandish assertions. Still, you are right to say, current attempts at correcting imbalance is ugly and unfair. Yet history suggests, a Randian approach, a hands-off market correction, harms more folks for a longer period of time, some irreparably. Efficiency is the wrong measure when US industry and the livelihood of citizens are at stake. Loudmouth commentators, speak otherwise with great bravado. Theirs is a position touted without a chance of implementation. So they spout, just to be contrary. You sound much the same.

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