Independent Investigations
A Place For Considerate Political Discourse!

WHEN MORE BECOMES LESS


Conservatives place a great deal of their faith in the “free market” system.  Simply stated, anything that stands in the way of the free market is bad for business, bad for capitalism, bad for America.  As a general rule, the Republican party will fight against any and all attempts to regulate the market and restrict its’ expression.

There has always been a conflict between our two major political parties over the need for regulation.  Democrats also believe in the free market system but generally believe that individuals and corporations operating within our free market system need to be regulated to protect consumers.  Republicans generally fight any form of regulation of these same individuals and corporations.

The Bush administration did its absolute best to gut regulatory agencies whose task was to protect the American people.  Much of what we are dealing with today is the result of regulatory agencies inability to do their jobs.

The problem with an unregulated market is the presence of human beings operating within the market.   You see, the very real presence of selfishness and greed within the human race makes an unregulated market a disaster for many who experience the greed and selfishness of others.  Can you spell       E N R O N?  If we could trust every CEO, every manager, every person who makes decisions within the business and corporate world to make decisions that are for the “greater good” we would not need regulation of their operations.

However, the “greed is good” crowd operates with one general rule.  More.  I want more, I will get more, and I will get it in spite of the damage it does to others.  I get more, you get less.  Let’s look at a few examples.

BP  ignored attempts to regulate the operation of their deep water oil rigs and the people and creatures of the gulf paid dearly for it.  The oil spill in the gulf is one of the most damaging human and ecological disasters this country has ever experienced.  Had BP not ignored regulators and let them do their job, the gulf would not have been saturated with oil.  Why did they ignore the regulators?  Because BP wanted to get as much oil out of their well as possible in the shortest amount of time.  More.  They wanted more oil, more profit.  The results are devastating. People died.    Anyone who thinks that this particular well is the only one BP operates  while ignoring regulatory agencies designed to protect the gulf is fooling themselves.

Could there have been any more damage done to the American people than that caused by the greed and unfettered behavior of the banking industry executives?  They wanted more.  They got more.  To this day, banking industry executives continue to behave in ways that are contrary to the best interests of the American people.  Where were the regulators?  Where was the enforcement of regulations designed to protect us?  Why are these executives still making millions of dollars in income instead of being jobless or even in prison?  They got more, the American people got a crashed economy and the loss of their livelihood. 

There is no one simple explanation for the crash in the housing market in this country.  As one who works within that market, I have experienced first hand, the devastation that has come as a result of this crash.  Lack of regulation and lack of enforcement of existing regulations of the loan industry is one of the major contributors to the housing market crash.  The banks wanted more.  They got more.  Everyone else got less.  I spend a great deal of my business day counseling individuals about their options in this market.  Most of the time, homeowners have to choose the least damaging option.  Regardless of their choices, for the most part, the damage is extensive.  The damage is extensive because someone wanted more.

We would not need to reform the health insurance industry if it wasn’t for the fact that every single decision about who gets their medical bills covered is related to profit.  The profits experienced by the health insurance agencies in this country are absolutely obscene.  They get more.  Others get less.  Try explaining that to a person who is dying and has no hope of recovery because the insurance company that they gave their hard-earned dollars to has decided not to cover their medical expenses.  The insurance company retains more of their profit, the individual gets their life destroyed.

I could go on and on with examples of how lack of regulation in the market, or lack of enforcement of existing regulation allowed someone to get more and others to get less.  It is the very nature of individuals and corporations to want more.  The problem comes when getting more involves doing things at the expense of others.  Some will say, that it is the very nature of a free market society to do just that.  Some win, some lose. No big deal.

Conservative politicians cry out from their elevated positions in society that regulation of the market is bad for business, bad for the economy, bad for the country while taking obscene amounts of money from the corporations and their greedy CEO’s.

 While I agree that over regulation can be an issue.  There is no doubt that deregulation of the corporate world is a bigger one.  There has to be a middle ground.  “Middle ground” is not a concept that our politicians have any understanding of.   As you vote in the coming election.  Understand this.  A vote along conservative lines is a vote for deregulation and lack of control over the “more” crowd.  Are you part of that crowd or are you part of the crowd that is paying for their greed?

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