Letter: Lacking historical context
In his Feb. 21 column, James Kellogg puts forth an argument for lessening government regulation and other “burdens.” Reading through the column, it sounds painfully similar to a public affairs branch of a major corporation. It’s hard to know where to even begin, as there is much that is problematic with the write-up.
Interestingly, his careful economic history excludes neoliberalism, the most powerful economic development of the 20th century, which is supposedly worth ignoring. I would think that this “miracle” would be included in Kellogg’s column; it has largely restored us to a society of “independence” through extreme regulatory rollback (resulting in 1920s levels of wealth and income inequality, vast corporate power, general decline of quality of life). This is true if you take a look at studies done on the issue.
President Clinton rightfully proclaimed “the era of big government is over,” and if you bother with the evidence, Obama has minimally moved in the direction of social welfare compared to our society in its most economically successful, egalitarian years (40s-60s). However, Obama-era policies appear to Kellogg, with misleading numbers, to be an “explosion.” This makes neoliberalism’s current effect glaringly obvious; even the slightest inch toward social and economic rights is the destruction of the (business) society, apparently. In fact, he should probably commend Obama like conservatives on Wall Street often do — for obvious reasons. Deregulation in the ‘70s has been marginally threatened through today, and it handily resumed the volatile boom and bust cycle that had been mitigated in the New Deal.
His claims that we are “dependent” flatly ignore any historical context and deny just about all credible academic studies done on neoliberalism and socio-economic rights from the state. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if there’s any convincing to be had here considering he still believes that markets are free and that it’s government behind the brainwashing. I suppose the system indoctrinates some better than others.
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