Monday, February 23, 2009

The Polarization of Discourse

Without discussing the merits of bank nationalization (we have already made our views quite clear), we would like to focus on the increasingly ideological nature of the public debate. The modern political reality in the United States, especially with regard to the debate of recent economic developments, is the formation of two diametrically opposite schools of thought. This sort of behavior was quite evident during recent "bailouts" of the financial and auto industries, as well as the crafting of numerous "economic stimulus" measures. The two sides, of course, are those who would prefer to strictly adhere to a market based capitalism to solve our problems, and those who believe that firm Government intervention is the only way to escape financial ruin. Pragmatism, it seems, is often ommitted from the discussion.

Insofar as the debate over bank nationalization has proceeded, we would submit that a classic "false choice" argument is being furthered by both sides. The free market folks prefer to conjure imagery of a nationalized bank being run by inept politicians and red-tape bureaucrats running wild. Conversely, the proponents of Government intervention have adeptly tapped into a vein of populist rage, arguing that these insitutions must be fully nationalized in order to get credit "flowing"again.

We would like to make the point that a pragmatic and effective strategy of nationalization has occurred before-in Sweden. As any student of politics is aware, ideologies are not true, and are simply a tool in the political bag. Although we prefer optimism, we are at heart realists who doubt that this debate will be settled in pragmatic fashion.
Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment