I commented on ProPublica’s blog about this ridiculous question and I am going to expand on those remarks here. Over the years it seems I have beaten this regulation meme countless times. It still exists. It still exists because corruption of the public mind by morally-bankrupt private interests still exists.
This issue of whether we need regulation is completely ridiculous and without reason, logic or science. It is void of any search for truth. Instead it is simply more ad hominem attacks by political idiots and corporatist shills. But, then we have ridiculous people running our government who bring up these ridiculous points so there is some necessity to go back and teach first grade concepts to some in society.
I saw one of my favorite ridiculousnessers, Orrin Hatch, on TV the other day. Orrin, one of my favorite neoliberals who also wanted to test people for drugs before they received unemployment benefits, (Because we know 80 million Americans are underemployed or unemployed because they are all crack heads. An extremely elitist, anti-humanist and unconstitutional view) was whining about how regulation was going to kill jobs on Wall Street. Ahem. We do know that regulation and public oversight kills predatory jobs. That is why Wall Street chafed at a consumer protection agency. It would mean their profit engine of effing Americans over at every chance they get would have public eyes on it. Apparently, Orrin and other Republican leadership in Congress embrace this profit engine regardless of how these profits are reaped. We already know predation has a high profit factor. It has helped fuel the profit bubble in corporate America. I think we can safely say Orrin wants to protect this at-all-cost profit motive because it fuels the intermingling of corporate money with political bribery. All legal of course. Legal because politicians passed laws to make it so. (I think instead of drug testing the unemployed, we need to test Orrin to see how many marbles have fallen out of his head.)
Let me repeat something we have said on here before. Regulation is the RULE OF LAW applied to economics. We are a nation of laws and not of men. Or we were until men started deregulating our economy. Regulation is absolutely necessary. What would happen in any game without regulation? A game where anything goes. A game where only those most willing to engage in any activity necessary to win, would actually enjoy playing. And let’s say the primary motive to winning was money. How would you play baseball or football without rules and regulators? Would you want to compete? Could you compete? You would have anarchy. And, that is exactly what we see today. Economic anarchy. Chaos. Or, as we have remarked thousands of times, volatility.
Economics is a game whose activities can be described through math-based (the rule of law or reason in lieu of opinion) game theory. In reality, we don’t have enough economic regulation or in many cases we have self-regulation as is often the case of corporatism. Re self-regulation, do you want to live in a society where all murderers, rapists, serial killers and armed robbers are required to self-report their actions? To self-regulate? That is what we have in our economy today. Do you like all of the pollution in our water, our air and in our land? Do you like drinking water with dozens of known toxic chemicals in it? Do you like eating food that has poison in it because of pollution? Do you like all of the exploitative practices by multinational corporations? Do you want to leave the safety of a nuclear power plant to a corporation running it for profit? Today we have economic anarchy courtesy of corporate personhood and their beholden lawyerly stooges and political toadies.
We have remarked on here about the bloated size of the codified code in the United States. In actuality, we might do better to simply ditch the entire U.S. codified code for business regulation and rewrite it. Today it is a cesspool of red tape, corruption, corporatist barriers to entry for competing forces in the market, etc. We need regulation like Glass Steagall. It was 20-odd pages. Similar financial code today is thousands of pages and is simply comprised of loopholes, red tape, corruption, bribery and mindless busy work meant to keep competition out of markets. If you want to start a business in this country, it should be easy to do without a legion of lawyers or excessive cost. And it should be comparatively inexpensive unless you are dumping mercury out the factory’s back door or some equally harmful dynamic.
We have had thirty years of deregulation or free market bullshit and look where we ended up. As we have said countless times, as a society we should seek fair markets. There is no such thing as a free market – a myth perpetuated by ideologues and scientific dunces. A fair market ensures there are referees or regulators who ensure the game’s rules are being adhered to. All of the Ron Paul worshippers out there remember that he idolized the anti-government, anti-regulatory ideology of Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan is the godfather of modern economic mythology. Ron Paul has some redeeming views on statism but understanding money and economics isn’t one of his strong points. Ronald Reagan’s view of economics has led to an economic anarchy of kleptocrats. We live in a post-apocalyptic Mad Max economy where neighbor must raise his sword against neighbor in order to fight over what scraps are left for most citizen. This while a handful of political, corporate and elite thugs walk off with all of our wealth and the fruits of our labor. It’s the way of the free market.
Today, with so much deregulation, we don’t have any meaningful regulatory code left in many instances. Instead, it is red tape and unnecessary statist bureaucracy. Almost always this is a result of legalized bribery. That red tape is often put there by corporations bribing our government. In other words, fascism applies red tape in lieu of regulation in order to stifle working markets. In other words, red tape is pro-business as Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have proudly proclaimed. And, leading Republican candidates Perry and Romney have so proudly also announced. (They all need to kneel before their corporate masters to raise the billions needed to win their corrupt political races.) Being pro-business as shills for both political parties are, stifles regulation and working markets and replaces it with red tape, bribery and fraud meant to defeat merit-based competition in our economy and to allow a chosen few to loot our society. This results in massive monopolies with endless supplies of money to capture our government and continue gutting our regulations (the rule of law) through bribery.
Obama’s health care reform bill was fascist red tape paid for by the health care industry. Dodd-Frank financial reform was fascist red tape paid for by the financial industry. Both protect massive bureaucracies by destroying merit, working markets, competition for American labor and competing business ideas that would raise wages and economic opportunity.
Does regulation kill jobs? Well, do rules to the game ruin your favorite sporting event or cause the collapse of sports-related employment? Does paying referees in sports (a tax on doing business) destroy the profit potential of your favorite sport? These are absolutely unreasoned, ridiculous and asinine questions that no one who embraces democracy, reason, science, logic and the rule of law over opinions of men would ever question.
We are only debating this point because of massive political fraud and corruption of our government. And because we have become a nation of men and not of laws.
Get rid of corporate personhood, privately-funded elections, opacity in government and both political parties (corporations themselves) and this nonissue issue will disappear as will all of the other insanity associated with all of these morally-bankrupt issues. It will disappear when the voice of reason, of law and of democracy gains the advantage against the corporatist shills.