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Monday, September 05, 2005

The Federal Safety Net

This is a brief excerpt from an ongoing email discussion group to which this blog is loosely related. The following is a portion of a comment one of the conservative posters made (I believe it's context is appropriately represented), along with my reply (corrected for some spelling errors)
On 9/5/05, B.A. wrote:
... and also believe in policies that actually consider what is best for my fellow man instead of rallying behind 60 years of completely failed liberal policies which led to nothing but economic disaster, corruption, and dependent poverty.

I'm not sure what "completely failed" liberal policies that you are speaking of. First, we were never as liberal (spelled s-o-c-i-a-l-i-s-t) as any number of other western nations; we have always had a hybrid system. Second, during those years of "failed liberal policies" how was it we managed to become the dominant economic power on the globe?

And last but not least, history teaches us that pure (or nearly pure) capitalist systems can have catastrophic failures. I suggest you read up a bit more on the Hoover administration from 1929 when the market crashed to the onset of the depression when there were far too many goods chasing far too few dollars, leading to a domino effect of layoffs and further economic depression, to the episode where the army, with tanks attacked peaceful starving veterans, bayoneting them and their families on the Mall in Washington DC. And let's not forget about the total collapse of the banking system in early 1933 during the last days of Hoover's administration.

It was unmitigated disaster, and it was exactly why liberals wrenched control of the government for so long afterwards. People remembered what happened.

It is my opinion that it is no coincidence that pure free-marketers have been able to come back so strongly as the last of the leaders and businessmen who lived though the Great Depression have passed the reigns on to people who have never known anything but prosperity. Soon The Great Depression will pass out of living memory.
It can happen again if you systematically trash all the safety nets our fathers worked so hard to build.