Monday, October 06, 2008

The Financial Collapse--A Trifecta for the Republicans

I am no economist. But maybe that's a good thing. Because this financial collapse was eminently predictable. At least I predicted something like this.

You mean terrible home loans to people who can't afford them aren't a good idea? That a completely deregulated Wall Street doesn't lead to endless wealth? That the Dow is not going to rise forever? That capitalism maybe shouldn't be a religion?

And it's not just me--virtually the entire left has predicted the same thing. I am not gloating. This sucks. What will the academic job market be over the next few years as I try to get a tenure-track job? Will I even have a job next year or especially the year after? What will happen to my friends and family? These are real concerns. Everyone has them now.

But any study of the past and any sober analysis of the present always suggested that such a boom was not going to last. And that the economic bubble was so gigantic that the burst would be extremely painful.

What this should do is complete the Republican trifecta of incompetence. Along with Iraq and New Orleans, the financial collapse should condemn the Republicans to being the minority party for the next generation. I hope that Democrats can rebuild the economy with the kind of regulation that made for such a great period of reasonable economic growth between 1945 and 1973. That they will remind Americans of what the government is supposed to do. That reasonable taxes to make society function are a good thing.

Unfortunately, the 1990s generation of Democrats drank the unregulated get-rich-quick capitalism of the Republicans and a lot of them are in Congress. So that's a fight too.

I wish that I and much of the rest of the left wasn't right about all of this. But it didn't take a genius to see this coming. It just took someone who wasn't a greed addict.