September 18, 2008

An Unholy Alliance: When Dems and Business Attack

The Democrat Party is mostly an incubator of bad ideas marked by good intentions* (the life issue being the huge exception to the 'good intention' label).

Business is mostly an incubator of what is good for business and is marked by amoral intentions but which mostly results in good. (See Adam Smith for an explanation.)

So the Democratic Party and business complement each other and are often, by not always, at odds.

The problem is when their goals do meet, it usually ends in disaster for the country. Any time the Democrats and business both favor something, look out below. There'll be hell to pay. Check your wallet and pass the Metamucil.

And indeed, during the '80s the crisis du jour was homelessness, for which at the time we knew Ronald Reagan was personally responsible. Homelessness was to the '80s what universal health care is to today. There was a lot of de-institutionalizing going on, a lot of mental hospitals closing for one reason or another, primarily because of the effectiveness of psyschotropic drugs (those horrible drug companies!) and maybe also because of the way asylums were depicted in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (never underestimate the power of film to change public opinion). All of this resulted in more homelessness than we'd seen before.

During the '90s, the issue seemed to fade away, perhaps because a Democrat was president and the issue was no longer needed for party of Jackson to attain power. Increasingly lenient credit practices began to be put in place. The Dems thought: why regulate something that was helping the poor get into houses? Good intentions were operative.

Meanwhile, business was in favor of this because there was a sudden lack of accountability - they could bundle their loans and send them down the river, to a greater chump, who could in turn bundle them again. Something felt wrong, didn't it, during the '90s when we were constantly writing our mortgage check to a different entity? It smelled like a scam.

Regarding illegal immigration, there is controversy concerning its ill effects. It's not my pet issue, but if it is a great strain for social services including health care and education then you can explain that by this alliance between businesses wanting cheap labor and Democrats wanting an open border.

The reason we don't have universal health care now is because Hillarycare was so painful for businesses that it couldn't be rammed through. Now that businesses are feeling more and more pain in the expensive benefits for employees, it's more likely we'll have universal health care. Anything that business and the Democrats agree on is likely to see the light of day - with painful repercussions in the long run for America.

UPDATE: From this, the genesis of the crisis seems to be less homelessness than the Democrat desire to eliminate "red-lining". Either way, it's good intentions married to governmental intervention that paved the way to hell.

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* - Jonah Goldberg would beg to differ and presents a persuasive case in "Liberal Fascism" that the Democrat Party has white-washed its social Darwinist Margaret Sanger-ish past.

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