Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why I hate partisan politics.

So as Americans become more confident that the US economy is not going to fall off a cliff, people are beginning to reflect on why it got into such a mess in the first place.

Democrats predictably blame Wall Street greed and poor, and too few, government regulations. They also tend to believe that the Stimulus Package was critical in pulling the economy back from the abyss.

Republicans and Libertarians on the other hand predictably blame government regulations which they claim created perverse incentives for businesses to take risky action that they could not calculate well. They also tend to believe that the Stimulus package has been poorly executed, too big, and created a budget deficit that is going to be a huge long term problem.

Neither side credits the other's arguments as being remotely valid.

Yet from where I stand both are exactly half right.

Democrats are right that Wall Street is hopelessly decadent and greedy.
They are also right that existing government regulations proved incapable of stopping the economic crisis.
They are also probably right that the Stimulus package, if only for psychological reasons, was neccesary.
Republicans are right that government regulations and institutions contributed to the economic crisis.
Republicans are also right that there is little reason to believe that increased government regulation and bureaucracy will prevent future economic crises.
And finally they are also right that huge deficits need to be avoided and that the Stimulus Package and TARP are terribly flawed.

Yet no one I know is saying ALL of these things. Rather partisanship forces Democrats and Republicans to harp loudly about the cherry picked realities that suit their ideology and remain silent about those that don't.

Republicans caution against demonizing Wall Street, and Democrats label anyone skeptical of the government's ability to save the day as doomsday preaching crazies.

God (please do) Bless America, it needs all the help it can get.


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