Conventional economics wittingly or unwittingly provides cover for the One Percent, by professing that "the market" operates benevolently on its own. Alex Marshall gives us an entertaining, thoughtful, and well-written antidote to this dangerous abstraction.
Some in our government truly wish to legislate every single aspect of our lives. The sobering part is that it's all a game of numbers -- the more laws like these are put to the vote, the more chance some will slip through.
There are few aspects of life more thoroughly dominated by government than education. This is particularly true of educational innovation. Innovative programs and materials do often come from the private sector, but they are adopted only if government supports them.
Conservatives can't complain next time they see a rat hair sticking out of their hotdog. They can't lament when a loved one dies from drug contamination or when a child gets ill from bad meat. This is the natural consequence of their political philosophy.
Of course the individual athletes who won the medals deserve the credit for their achievements. But many of them never would have had the opportunity to develop their individual talents to the Olympic level had it not been for sensible, needed government actions.
We've all heard allusions to a "tsunami" of regulations battering U.S. businesses. The reality is there is no "tsunami" and federal agencies are late on completing nearly 80 percent of the rules by congressionally mandated deadlines.
When you ask small business owners from Nevada to Pennsylvania what the greatest obstacle in the way of their success is, they echo what numerous studies have indicated for months: government regulations.
We can't know for sure what's behind these oil prices. But what we can know is that we don't know -- and that our government should have the resources to track these markets and intervene when they're being misused.
While the anger and fear that dominate our discourse is justified, it cannot be allowed to blind the electorate to certain realties. Who is the one standing behind the curtain giving voice to the Great Oz?
Force the banks to go back to traditional banking. If that means turning them into non-profits, so be it. But there is no way to justify allowing them to continue to bilk average American customers, not to mention risking driving the global economy off the cliff again.
Let's be clear. What Americans need least is what they are now getting: trash talk about government as "the problem" and a claim now inflated to infallibility by Republican zealots that tax increases never -- ever -- promote the common good.
We have developed an American myth about the magical efficiency of market forces and have deified entrepreneurs. We have developed a disdain for government as an obstacle to progress. Neither is entirely true or false.
President Obama seems reluctant to lay down the gauntlet or to use his oratorical skills to shame the arrogant, make mad the guilty, or cow the slanderous who would break down the walls protecting us from free market abuse.
As history shows, any small, short-term budgetary gains from work force cutbacks are likely to be offset by serious regulatory missteps, more after-the-fact finger-pointing and a continuation of the cycle of failure and mistrust.