Wednesday, January 28, 2009
...The Explanation You've Wanted.
While I theoretically agree with some of what Dr. Paul has said, I am leery about the practical, socioeconomic consequences of a "true market solution". I cannot bear the thought of families debased and impoverished, jobs lost and businesses shuttered, and society en masse critically weakened, just to let the market have its way...That maybe a solution, yes, but it cannot be the most humane answer.
Consider this: there is a small child, a girl, in queue with her mother at a food bank, awaiting their turn to receive a small box of the basic items needed just to live. Her mother is among the millions who have been left unemployed by this downturn. Her job in a small factory making widgets was among 47 that had abruptly ended on a cold Friday afternoon, because quarterly product orders have fallen to unsustainable levels, and typical buyers have been unable to get the financing needed to continue their routine purchases. Now the mother is here: relying on the charity of others, because her less-than-$300, weekly unemployment stipend is too insufficient to even cover the rent on their home. The child cannot fully understand the magnitude of their dilemma, but her mother knows it all too well and is unable to do anything about it. There are no jobs in her small enclave--only an increasing number of unemployed.
Now can you or anyone else, in good conscience, look into the faces of either of the people--the small child or her emotionally broken mother--and tell them with any measure of confidence that everything will be okay, once the market corrects its own course? And can you even, without shame, admit to them that you advocate a policy that would not allow their government to intercede, but that will likely leave them and others in such bread lines for any amount of time to come?
I have been a Republican for as long as I have understood politics, and I have been a capitalist for even longer. As a businessman, I summarily stand by the principles of a free-market economy and the rule-of-law, because they are the basic tenets of our modern lives, but even I will be among the first to admit that our market system is not perfect. Things can and will go awry--so extremely awry, in fact, that they can destroy the lives of millions who have no direct or real influence over them. To me, this is one of those times, and as a man of fairness, I cannot ignore the fact that the market provided no humane solution--only one which would allow matters to become more grave. If left unchecked, a "true market solution" would leave so many people poorer than ever, long before a bottom is ever reached, and long before the rudiments of trust and credit even partially restored.
T.D. Jakes, the popular Texas-based evangelist, once said [paraphrased], "A eagle cannot soar with only one wing." His words are a constant reminder to me in these times, inasmuch as he was more right than he knew. It will take more than just the free market to rectify a massive crisis that it so blindly created. In order to insure an expedient end to this crisis, in order to help all of those woefully impacted by these events, government, even with all of its own faults, will have to be become involved. Granted, this, too, will be an expensive endeavor for the country--but what other choice is there now? How long will allow so many people to suffer before we admit that the "true market solution" will take too long and cut too deeply, and that we must try some legitmate dose of Keynesian economics, before we, too, must join the ranks of the victims?
Posted by Gary C. Harrell
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