Monday, July 14, 2008

Add me to this list.

Prominent bloggers call for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be re-nationalized.

I agree.

Actually, at this point, nationalizing those two entities is only one of many things we need to do to fix the economy.

The economy is teetering on the brink of disaster, due to years of rampant privatization and deregulation. Deregulation of the airline industry has led to massive turmoil, bankruptcies, job losses, and a continuing deterioration in level of service coupled with spiralling prices. Deregulation of electricity markets led to the Enron debacle. Deregulation of oil speculation has led to the current crisis in gas prices. Lack of enforcement in food safety has poisoned thousands with salmonella and e-coli. It seems like every time the government lets the "free market" be "free," it ends in disaster. The "free market" created this mess; the same "free market" is incapable of cleaning it up.

Some examples:

1) To fix gas prices, we need to curb oil speculation, which can only be done through government regulation.

2) To fix the housing crisis, we need to regulate the mortgate industry to eliminate predatory lending practices.

3) To fix our crumbling national infrastructure and prevent another Midwestern flood or, God forbid, another Katrina, we need a new Works Progress Adminstration to create jobs that will work to fix our bridges, roads, and levees.

4) To fix the growing crisis in health care, we need single-payer health insurance.

Letting the market run free will only lead to chaos. Capitalism is defined by its ups and downs, its crashes and booms, and left to its own devices, it'll do just that. The only way to soften the blows is to regulate it.

This, by the way, isn't socialism. It's just common sense.