Saturday, November 29, 2008

Political Analysis of the Recession

Michael Rozeff provides a political analysis of what is going on in financial markets.
It is the government’s quest for its own survival that is paramount to government. The government would have vastly preferred that this crisis would not have happened, inasmuch as it threatens its own viability and freedom of violent action. There are many measures that the government could have enacted that would have quickly alleviated the problem of troubled assets, but they were not enacted because they would have altered the existing system in a fundamental way that would have threatened the existing power structure. Instead the government chose far more ineffective, costly, and inefficient means that, in its calculus, resolve enough of the problem while keeping government intact and even expanding its power. The government has used the crisis to its own advantage.
Undoubtedly correct. He goes on to make a number of other equally salient points. It is definitely worth your time to read this. One bone I would have to pick with him, and a lot of other commentators for that matter, is that he draws a distinction between the government and the governed. I don't care if we are talking about the US or China, or North Korea or Mexico, the government and the people are not separate entities. The culture of one is the culture of other. The US will never, ever, have a religious Hindu government. China will never, ever be ruled by Christian monarchs. America has the government it has now as a result of the actions of its people. Actions reflect beliefs. Beliefs, as we all know, have consequences. American culture is not what it was a hundred years ago. It is not even what it was thirty years ago. It does not value liberty, at least not nearly as much as it values comfort and security, nor does it value personal responsibility or strong ethics and discipline. We have the government we have chosen and the one we deserve. If it is beginning to look like an overbearing European centralist state, that is probably because American attitudes and culture have shifted to have priorities similar to the Europeans. If we are beginning to look like the mass of the other countries of the world instead of the "shining city on the hill," it is probably because we are becoming like them. We are not special anymore.

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