Friday, September 19, 2008

Over the past few days we have witnessed the end of the Reagan era... Ronald Reagan and his lock step cadre of conservatives believed that unlimited government deregulation would better serve the American financial machinery than the regulatory environment established by FDR.

Oops.

We are watching the nationalization of the financial industry.

The thing some people seemed to have missed is that because one of the primary purposes of incorporation is to avoid individual financial responsibility beyond the value of is shareholder's investments, corporations require oversight to insure that they are responsible partners in society. Corporations have no feelings of guilt or shame to hold them accountable to higher purpose. You can't punish a corporation for its transgressions by sending it to prison (though when you can prove deliberate fraud by its personnel, they can be individually punished). Investors can scoot away scott-free, leaving huge environmental and societal disasters in their wake.

The Republicans have pushed deregulation to create an environment in which corporations are accountable only to the growth of their shareholders' investment and unlike real people, corporations feel no sense of shame for taking part in outrageous, irresponsible behavior.

Frankly, I was one of those who knew that Ronald Reagan was an idiot. And while I'm not happy to see the dire circumstances that so many Americans face, it can be gratifying for a humble craftsman to look back and know that he was right.

In working intelligently with your hands, you begin to acquire what some have called "common sense."

2 comments:

Cindy said...

How prescient! We didn't see it coming. In two months from this post my husband would loose a top-notch craft job that he had held for twenty years.

http://www.flintriflesmith.com/images/GunshopCWF/American%20Traditions%20Article%202010.pdf

Doug Stowe said...

Sadly, by failing to be hands-on, we've lost the common sense that can prevent disaster. Being "out of touch" is the same as being a nation of idiots.

Reader John Grossbohlin also has past connections with the gunshop at Colonial Williamsburg. Small world.