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SENTRY JOURNAL » bailout, capitalism, Congress, Constitution, Obama Money, president, principles » Scarey Stance

Scarey Stance

by RightHandMan

Earlier this week I had a discussion with a friend regarding the bailouts of American banks and businesses.  We both claim to be capitalists and believers in free enterprise, but this friend somehow finds room to support the bailouts.

Obviously any argument on this topic will have lots of numbers, theories, and doomsday predictions from both sides.  In the midst of these arguments I asked a question that has become common in my debating arsenal – I asked where Congress and the President got the authority to bailout the banks and various businesses.  Sadly, he did not respond with some terrible translation of the commerce clause as I expected, but instead with, “It doesn’t matter, we needed them (the government) to step in.”

This response is becoming too common, even among pundits.  When did we become so flippant about the Constitution and legalities?  Why are we so willing to sacrifice our first principles for the scraps of Uncle Sam’s table?

The argument about the banks being too big to fail is insulting to capitalism, but I can understand the stance.  The assertion that government spending can lead to economic turnaround is frightening, but it has some merit.  However, the stance that our laws are no longer relevant in the face of struggle is unconscionable.

Undoubtedly those who support this stance will, like my friend, point to the severity of this current crisis as a means of justification.  It is hard to imagine a more severe crossroad than that which was faced by the creators of the principles we now so quickly abandon.  In fact, it was adversity that created the ideology that makes up our foundation.

My stance is simple.  Even if every bank had fallen, if our financial market was crippled, and joblessness rose to unprecedented marks (though we nearly suffer these now), I still do not support the government bailing out businesses and banks.  I support a capitalist system which allows failure and success without prejudice.

Filed under: bailout, capitalism, Congress, Constitution, Obama Money, president, principles

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  • Matt April 20, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    I think you are correct, as uncomfortable as that might be. It could be argued, though, that the government interference in the market caused the crisis in the first place. For example, what if the government NOT mandated that the banks make bad loans?

  • Steve April 20, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    Any act by the government to artificially support the free market is tantamount to a government takeover. Free market means just that- free from government intervention.

  • John Carey April 20, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    I agree with Matt. The government should not have interfered. Whenever the government tries to steer the free market or manipulate the outcome when end up in an economic mess. If they would just leave alone, we would recover more quickly.

  • LD Jackson April 22, 2010 at 4:47 AM

    One of the problems is that those who are in favor of government interference seem to be afraid to let the market have it's way. In other words, they want to leave nothing to chance, wanting to control the outcome in their favor.