Economist Steve Horwitz ties the thread between the two mammoth stories running through the blogosphere right now (H/T Brian Doherty, Reason):
I can’t help but note that yet another politician is indicted on corruption charges at the very same time we are handing over unprecedented power to the political class as we partially nationalize the banking system and, apparently, the Big Three auto companies.
I simply do not understand how those who are in favor of giving government all of these new powers because they sincerely believe that doing so will work out the way their blackboard designs intended can keep a straight face. What kind of cognitive dissonance must it take to believe that the people YOU are handing power over to are “not like” Ted Stevens or Rod Blagojevich? How deeply must one be in denial or engage in rationalization to believe that they are “different?”
Quite simply put, these times are even less rational than usual. Some may be looking for a quick escape from the economic pain and latch all too easily onto something ultimately much more destructive. Our government – with expansive regulatory powers – already creates the swamp-like conditions of corruption that tempt those like Stevens, William Jefferson, and Blagojevich. Government can’t solve the problems of human nature, but it can exacerbate them.
Further irony is the too-often overlooked complicit role of Big Labor in the Big Government monster. As a major example, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) officials are not only a major force behind the destructive economic agenda, but also a key player in the Blagojevich pay-to-play scandal. Meanwhile, Joe Taxpayer is left to wonder if he’ll be footing the bill for an automotive bailout in which the United Auto Workers (UAW) fails to carry its weight for the high labor costs dragging down domestic production.
SEIU and UAW helped bankroll the election of the growing Democratic majority in Congress. Do you think they are going to sit idly by?
In the end, the taxpayer, the consumer, the average citizen is the biggest victim. Fewer choices of what kind of car to drive. Less money in the pocket. More taxes. Fewer productive jobs. But plenty of time to watch the latest political scandal unfold on TV – in this case wondering how much Blago’s pay-to-play might touch the new president-elect.
When will we see more of this?
Stop the bailouts. Stop the handouts. Keep the corruption to a minimum.
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