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Stroking Satan’s Tummy September 17, 2008

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts, Political Philosophy.

This week, as our economy slides ever closer to a precipice, John McCain first stated that the economic fundamentals were strong, then suggested we form a commission, and finally he blames the Wall Street bankers.


Wall Street bankers are guilty of grossly irresponsible behavior. But what enabled their irresponsibility was a lax regulatory regime that created incentives for this kind of behavior that was, in part,  instituted through the efforts of McCain, his chief economic advisor Phil Gramm, and the fab economic guru of Republicans, Alan Greenspan.

“A decade ago McCain pushed unsuccessfully for a moratorium on all federal regulations. Asked about that by the Wall Street Journal this spring, McCain said, ‘I’m always for less regulation. But I am aware of the view that there is a need for government oversight’….McCain added that given the subprime scandal, more regulations might ultimately be appropriate but, ‘I am fundamentally a deregulator. I’d like to see a lot of the unnecessary government regulations eliminated, not just a moratorium.’The Times also points out that among McCain’s top economic advisers are ‘two outspoken advocates of free market approaches, former Senator Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan,’ the former chief of the Fed….As we noted yesterday, Gramm authored a bill in 2000 that essentially stopped the government from regulating the derivatives and other fancy investments that have fueled the current crisis.”

From the early days of Reagan’s “greed is good” that launched the gambit of market deregulation to the current corporate kleptocracy where theft is part of a business plan, John McCain has been cheerleader and enabler.

As I noted in earlier posts, (here and here) Republican politics amounts to a phony game of identity politics and a shell game that mouths platitudes against evil while stroking Beelzebub on the tummy. And McCain’s response to the credit crisis fits this politics perfectly. McCain can’t end greed—no one can. And Wall St. bankers are supposed to be greedy. It is the government’s responsibility to supply the legal constraints that prevent greed from destroying the system. But instead of devising policies that create disincentives that would deter and punish greed, McCain’s solution to our problems is to rail against cultural elites—this week’s villain is investment bankers—and actively promote the culture that makes their shenanigans possible.


The rank hypocrisy of this man knows no limit.



1. Huan - September 17, 2008

Maybe instead of the pure irrationality of supporting a policy that you don’t support, the republican method is really to allow greed under the assumption that it’s controlled greed. They’d do this by dealing with uncontrolled greed only, and not attacking greed with full on suppresive policies.

In McCain’s case he’d be attacking the problem at hand, a case of over-greed from the wallstreet bankers.

This is of course assuming that an absence of suppresive policies could be taken in a responsible manner at all. I don’t know, can it?

2. Huan - September 17, 2008

That read kind of weird. Should be “THEIR pure irrationality of supporting a policy that THEY don’t support”

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