Getting money out of politics is a very crucial matter; it has been for a long time. It’s gotten much more extreme now. For a long time, elections have just been public relations extravaganzas where people are mobilized every four years to get excited to go push a button and then go home and forget about it.
Your daily reminder that when people say that private enterprise will do things more efficiently, the thing it will turn a higher profit at the expense of whatever service it was meant to provide.
Your other daily reminder that when someone’s quarterly earnings report depends on the number of criminals who are incarcerated, that gives them the resources and the incentive to lobby to have as many people declared criminals as possible.
In the last week or two, I have heard frequently from you that the current financial mess has been caused by the failures of free markets and deregulation. I have heard from you that the lust after profits, any profits, that is central to free markets is at the core of our problems. And I have heard from you that only significant government intervention into financial markets can cure these problems, perhaps once and for all. I ask of you for the next few minutes to, in the words of Oliver Cromwell, consider that you may be mistaken. Consider that both the diagnosis and the cure might be equally mistaken.
Consider instead that the problems of this mess were caused by the very kinds of government regulation that you now propose. Consider instead that effects of the profit motive that you decry depend upon the incentives that institutions, regulations, and policies create, which in this case led profit-seekers to do great damage. Consider instead that the regulations that may have been the cause were supported by, as they have often been throughout US history, the very firms being regulated, mostly because they worked to said firms’ benefit, even as they screwed the rest of us. Consider all of this as you ask for more of the same in the name of fixing the problem. And finally, consider why you would ever imagine that those with wealth and power wouldn’t rig a new regulatory process in their favor.
The full article raises many good points, but also contains a lot of fluff and cherry picking. I don’t fancy losing my entire evening to replying to these points, so I’m not going to.
What I will say is that even if the above is accepted as gospel, I can not remotely comprehend how someone can genuinely advocate a free market. For the sake of me being lazy I’m going to boil my argument down to merely mentioning four following areas:
Healthcare Environment Wealth equality The national grid
I mean I’ll definitely grant any libertarian that we don’t remotely live within a free market currently, but thank fuck we don’t because, as screwed as our current society is, life would be a darned sight more terrifying if we did.
Right-wing funders and business industrialists David and Charles Koch may purchase the Tribune Company newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Times. The brothers are “interested in the clout they could gain through the Times’ editorial pages,” the Hollywood Reporter notes. Responding to the report, a spokesperson for Koch told the website that the brothers are “constantly exploring profitable opportunities in many industries and sectors”
The Koch brothers own Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in America, and fund a network of right-wing think tanks and organizations. In 2012, the brothers had pledged $60 million to defeat President Obama and even sent mailers to employees urging them to support Mitt Romney and other conservative candidates.
You should be scared. And this is why:
The Koch brothers funds and supports an organization which thinks the Violence Against Women Act is “unconstitutional”.