“We’ve so overused the word ‘socialism’ that it no longer has the negative connotation it had 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Fascism — everybody still thinks that’s a bad thing.”
The problem with socialism is that it is horrifically abusable.
American Heritage dictionary? Isn't that the one that leans descriptivist?
I have said that there is no single villain in this crisis, no one person, not one change in the law, etc., that caused this. It was a combination of things. But as I think about it more and more, I'm not so sure. The reason? According to the story I've been telling about why the crisis happened, there were incentive failures at just about every step in the process... it could have been stopped at any one of these steps. Had anyone at any one of the steps from the sale of the house to the complex securities traded in the shadow banking system said no, we're not doing that, the money could not have kept flowing through the system and blowing up... instead, the brokers simply passed the contracts along, sliced and diced as necessary, to the next person...
But what should we make of the fact that every single step in the process is compromised? Every market that was supposed to self-regulate failed? ... What are the chances that, on their own, independently, each and every step in the chain would have been subject to a market failure that just happened to let the bubble keep inflating?
So more and more I'm starting to think there may be a single explanation after all, that the regulators of these markets were captured by powerful forces that wanted the game to continue... I've talked about why ideology may have eroded the will of regulators, but their will is partly a function of their power. So long as we allow huge, clearly over-sized financial institutions to exist, this problem will potentially be present. Therefore, if the current anti-trust legislation is adequate to the task, then yes, let's give regulators the power to enforce it, and ensure we have people in place with the will to do so.
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