Many conservatives are railing today at the financial bailout of Fall 2008. After the failure of Lehman Brothers Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson engineered a $700 TARP fund to prevent the contagion from spreading. And conservatives hated it.
I maintain that a banking bailout was the right policy, and a banking bailout--designed to prevent a meltdown of the credit system--is the only kind of bailout that makes sense in an economic crisis. If the credit system goes, then everything goes.
Today, at Thanksgiving 2009, it looks like the worst is over and that the economy will survive its worst crisis since the Great Depression.
That is something to be thankful for.
But it is clear that the national elite has not learned the proper lessons from the crisis. We have seen no effort to reduce the subsidization of debt. We have seen not effort to get the government out of gunning the economy. We have seen no effort to reduce the politicization of the economy.
The lesson of 2008 is clear. Government can't be trusted with monetary policy. It can't be trusted with credit policy. It can't be trusted with economic policy. The reason is simple. The only thing that politicians and activists and lobbyists are interested in is power. Their interest in monetary policy extends no further than printing money when the government gets in a jam. Their interest in credit policy extends no further than subsidizing their supporters. Their interest in economic policy extends no further than apologies for government domination of the economy.
The only thing that government can do is fight against enemies foreign and domestic. To this end, of course, it needs complete access to the nation's wealth when it is actually fighting a war. But after the war the resources should be surrendered back to the private sector.
Because politicians know nothing about money, credit, and business. And they like it that way.
The best way to celebrate future Thanksgivings would be to give thanks to the day when we got the government out of the economy.