May 11, 2006


Caption: Current events have driven this cat to drink. Some of us were already there.

One of the more outrageous fish tales peddled these days--and the competition is fierce--goes like this:

A. We have a free market system (except for those pesky social programs and bothersome regulations); and

B. Our "conservative" friends are protecting it.

What we really have is more a case of socialism for the rich where the resources of the state are used to further enrich the already wealthy. Unfortunately, political debate is often hypocritically and successfully framed as market good/government bad by the beneficiaries of the system.

Progressives often shoot themselves in the foot, or someplace worse, by accepting those terms of debate.

A new and free downloadable ebook titled The Conservative Nanny State:
How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer
by Dean Baker is a welcome dose of reality.

Baker is co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Beat the Press blogger.

Here's a sample from the introduction:

Political debates in the United States are routinely framed as a battle between conservatives who favor market outcomes, whatever they may be, against liberals who prefer government intervention to ensure that families have decent standards-of-living. This description of the two poles is inaccurate; both conservatives and liberals want government intervention. The difference between them is the goal of government intervention, and the fact that conservatives are smart enough to conceal their dependence on the government.

The book deals with a host of topics, include trade deals, federal reserve policies, taxes, CEO pay, and corporate welfare.

Another good source for unmasking the nanny state and the bogus cult of the market god is Good Jobs First, which has led the way in exposing corporate welfare and economic development scams.

GJF founder Greg LeRoy is author of the book The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation, which shows that cities and states give away $50 billion a year in corporate subsidies and often get little or nothing in return.

It's time for some serious unmasking.

(Full picture disclosure: while Goat Rope is generally opposed to outsourcing, the drinking cat pictured above is not a resident of Goat Rope Farm. When the animals here find out about it, they may go on strike, a move that would be devastating if they actually did anything useful).



Anonymous said...

Great post on Baker's new book. I read most of it last night. I think you could apply many of the same principles to the WV COC. For instance, why did they spend thousands of dollars pushing for the levey? I thought they hated gov't...I guess they have the most to lose (or gain). I think "tort reform" is another prime example of designing gov't rules that distribute money upwards.

Anonymous said...

that has to be the funny caption i have seen adn so true,,,,,Sigmund