Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Juan Cole sums up things nicely as they relate to the draconian budget slashing going on in many of our States, most prominent in view in Wisconsin and Ohio.
Government is not bad. It builds your roads, funds your hospitals, pays your social security (the elderly were the poorest group in American in the 1920s, now they generally not so badly off, because of a government program), and could help solve global warming by building high speed rail and promoting green energy.
Corporations don’t do anything of that sort for you. Some of them are well-run and make things that improve lives. But many of them (as with industrial fishing) are destroying the species-wealth of the planet, or strip-mining it, or pumping enormous amounts of poisonous carbon into its atmosphere. Or they are ponzi schemes or modern-day slavers who get people deeply in debt and charge them usurious interest rates, turning them into serfs-for-the-lender.
If someone is charging you 22% interest, he should be in jail, not the recipient of the bulk of your paycheck. Government student loans allow young people potentially to avoid this sort of situation, which is one reason financiers want to destroy government and the whole idea of regulation. Ayn Rand is a recipe for turning the United States into one big Company Town, in which we are born indebted to the corporations and pass the debt on to our children. In contrast, government debt can goose the economy during downturns, is mostly owed to ourselves, and becomes smaller over time because of inflation; and if it weakens our currency slightly it would help exports.
Feel free to read the rest of his essay here.