The battle cry of the RNC and Tea Party (I’m a registered Republican, by the way) is “free market.” I’m a proponent of a free market; markets that aren’t hindered by government. But I’m not at all in favor of a system of plunder and enslavement that is simply veiled by the term “free market economy.” You what that kind of free market got us? Just the Crash of 2008. What was that the result of? Very simply, it was deregulation of the financial sector. Without regulations to put a throttle on them, the big financial institutions came up with sub-prime loans. They then figured out a way to securitize that debt and create bonds on the paper. Then they created “insurance policies” in the form of collateralized debt obligations to insure against those financial instruments that I suspect they knew were going to fail.
In essence, the “free market” basically gave those Wall Street bastards the freedom to gamble with other people’s money. And the worst thing about that “freedom” is that after the Wall Street boys completely screwed up the economy where we saw millions of foreclosures and millions of jobs lost, they had nothing to worry about. The American taxpayer came to their rescue! You can’t tell me that it is more complicated than that. The freedoms those people enjoyed allowed them to act in such a way that they collectively brought the global economy to the brink of complete failure; they were all essentially acting as huge, interconnected hedge funds and they eventually became too big to fail. If one went down, they all would go down. So what did they do when they realized that they’d completely fucked up? They cried for help and they got it in the form of a $700 billion bailout!
Think about this: If anyone of the “little people” did what Wall Street did, they’d be ruined, if not jailed. You see anyone go to jail? Not at all. In fact, a year after the collapse, Goldman Sachs awarded billions in bonuses to its employees. No one learned any lesson. Perhaps the ultimate victims in this – the rank and file American public – learned a lesson: That those in the upper echelons of the financial community are simply above reproach and in reality and sadly, above the law.
The financial crisis just proved that a free market that is also free from moral responsibility does not work. With this coming election, I’m actually deathly afraid that my Republican leaders will simply allow Wall Street’s trend of fiscal irresponsibility to continue. Thus far, all I’ve heard from the candidates is not how they’re going to protect against the 2008 crash; instead, they’re making this a class war and taking the side of the crooks who got us into this mess in the first place; calling them “job creators.”
Frankly, I don’t really give a shit about politicians’ rhetoric on how they’re going to create jobs – especially within the context of this particular economic environment. I believe that they first have to find a way to keep Wall Street in check. If that means creating some sort of oversight or regulation, so be it.
To me, a free market is a market where everyone is free to prosper. But in order to make that work, there has to be some sense of responsibility and accountability. There was neither in this latest saga in our economic story, and all that’s going to happen if this continues is that we’re bound to have another collapse.