Monday, November 17, 2008

Bill Krystol has continued a popular tradition in American politics: Rightwing thinkers advancing what would objectively be considered left-leaning policies:

And I don’t see why conservatives ought to defend a system that permits securitizing mortgages (or car loans) in a way that seems to make the lenders almost unaccountable for the risk while spreading it, toxically, everywhere else. I don’t see why a commitment to free markets requires permitting banks or bank-like institutions to leverage their assets at 30 to 1. There’s nothing conservative about letting free markets degenerate into something close to Karl Marx’s vision of an atomizing, irresponsible and self-devouring capitalism.

It is a very good idea for the government to regulate loan markets whether the loans are for homes, cars, or whatever, so that the initial lender has to take into account the probability of the borrower being able to complete the transaction and pay the money back. As it was over the past few years, lenders could make numerous loans and sell them to others, freeing up money to make even more loans. Since they sold their risk, there really wasn't an incentive on them to ensure that borrowers were worthy. This is especially true in a "long term" instrument like a home loan.

As Democrats we are and should be dedicated to a vibrant free market. That should mean that we promote honest and informed participants on all sides with the law aiding in the enforcement of sound market principles.

Some on our side so rarely talk about the beauty of the market, and the success we have achieved in this country, that I think they are socialists at heart. The intensity at which they attack capitalism's flaws can't go un-noticed.

Well good liberals on our side, newliberals, should do all we can to promote the benefits of a free market and be on the right side of reform where necessary. We shouldn't allow the Right to steal good liberal ideas. They have done that with school vouchers and now they have a bad name.

America is the best country because of the opportunity and the vibrancy of our mixed economy. A strong regulatory system is a part of that, but it must be subservient to the free market in order to keep this the greatest nation.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!

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