Great Government and the Roots of Rebellion

By John Lumbard.

  USA Today just published an opinion piece arguing that voters are concerned about the power wielded by large corporations;  but unwilling to embrace the federal government as a benevolent regulator.  That distrust is founded in a recognition that our government is larger than all of our 100 largest corporations put together—a fearsome size—and that it has proven to be an incompetent overseer of banks, mortgage companies, brokerage companies, auto companies, and many other sectors of our economy.   It sucks manpower, money, and other resources from sea to shining sea, starving the new enterprises that have always been the source of American jobs and prosperity.

  “The public also understands that such recklessness, such unsustainable spending, would bring individuals or small businesses to rapid financial ruin . . . . . . . . The contrast raises the painful issue of double standards: the application of different rules for the people and the powerful.”

These ideas have now entered the mainstream of American thought.  The USA Today editorial itself references a New York Times piece titled Add Government to the List of Fat Cats, in which Matt Bai declared that today’s populist rebellions are “about the individual versus the institution — not only business, but also government and large media and elite universities, too”.

Our own Michael Smith chimed in, with a comment on the USA today web site: 

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“It’s no mystery why government has become so enormous and intrusive. Once politicians discovered the art of buying votes with other people’s money, explosive growth was inevitable. When spending reached the point of risking the taxpayers’ wrath (and therefore, their votes), politicians simply borrowed to keep the goodies flowing. You can’t get voted out of office by taxpayers who haven’t been born yet.”
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