The Republican platform against big government just doesn’t fly
Posted by silentarchimedes on September 18, 2008
So what have we learned since Reagonomics in the 1980s?
- Individuals cannot be trusted to handle all their money by themselves. In a capitalistic “I want it now” society, putting too much power in individuals has led to through the roof personal debts of all kinds. Credit card debt has mortgaged each individual’s future for the present. Taking on unaffordable mortgages has dramatically increased foreclosures and personal bankruptices in this country. Horribly managed personal retirements accounts, such as 401Ks and IRAs, have seen individuals lose their entire life savings (think Enron, Lucent, MCI, AIG, etc).
- Corporations, or superhumans, cannot be trusted to look out for the interests of individuals and society. The main goal of corporations is to make money. It is not to help society. Of course they still do because helping society creates a better image of them, and thus can lead to better sales. Corporations are run by greedy managers whose huge salaries are usually not tied to performance anyways. Even if the company tanks they are usually given nice little golden parachutes. Management of Enron, MCI and other companies simply lied and drove the companies into the ground. They did not care about their own employees at all.
So if individuals and corporations are not to be trusted, who is left? The federal government. However, Reagonomics has also shown that the Feds are also just as incompetent at looking out for the interests of the individual. National debt, deficit, dollar, and whatever other metric you want to use has gone in the completely wrong direction with larger government involvement. The current financial crisis, the housing bubble, and the dot com bubble have all been directly due to horrible decisions of the Feds.
If all three are undependable to take care of money and society, then who’s left? Who to trust? Is a big government better or a small government? One thing we have known is that the Feds have done some nice things in the past, when it actually stood for something. The Social Security program was a great idea, and only became an impending financial crisis because of the irresponsibility of recent administrations. The national highway system is still the best in the world. If we can put an administration that is trustworthy and seriously believes in solving the domestic problems of this country, the Feds are our best choice. A big responsible government in this day and age is our only chance to solve the upcoming crises we will have on our hands. Those crises include faltering infrastructure, national debt, slowing technological competition, education, Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, crime, poverty, global warming, etc etc. There is no way a small government will be able to handle all these problems.