Saturday, August 21, 2010

Is the Solution Political?

A few weeks back, when Congress was passing financial regulatory reform, I made the horrible mistake of trying to read the bill.

I was on page five hundred and something when Adobe Acrobat decided to download an update that froze my computer. As I was taking notes in Notebook, I lost half my notes and gave up on reading the rest of the 2000 page bill.

The part of the bill I read was primarily about installing political operatives at key positions in the financial system.

As far as I could tell, the driving assumption behind financial reform is the belief that the economy collapsed because Republicans are horrible creatures. Since Republicans are such horrible people, the key to prosperity is to place left leaning political operatives at key places in the financial system.

I am willing to buy that Republicans are horrible greedy people while Democrats are fluffy balls of wonderfulness. However, I hold that the shape of the economy is formed by the ideas of the society, and not the temperment of the leaders.

Both Democrats and the Bush era Neocons were feeding on the same set of technocratic ideas spewing forth from the same elite ivy league schools.

If it is true that our economy crashed because Republicans are horrible people, then an army of political operatives might help counter Republican evilness. If they assumption is wrong, then Obama's financial reform will probably just stifle economic growth.

The ad below by the DNC shows that the party will continue to drum the theme that our economic woes fall entirely on the horribleness of Republicans, and that prosperity comes from the fluffy-ball wonderfulness of Democrats. I happen to think the economy is driven by ideas and that this political narrative is a dead end.

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