Monday, December 14, 2009

Conservative Irresponsibility

For an ideology that makes such a fetish of personal responsibility, conservatism's followers are singularly unwilling to take responsibility for their cataclysmic errors - as Krugman expands on here.

Talk to conservatives about the financial crisis and you enter an alternative, bizarro universe in which government bureaucrats, not greedy bankers, caused the meltdown. It’s a universe in which government-sponsored lending agencies triggered the crisis, even though private lenders actually made the vast majority of subprime loans. It’s a universe in which regulators coerced bankers into making loans to unqualified borrowers, even though only one of the top 25 subprime lenders was subject to the regulations in question.

Oh, and conservatives simply ignore the catastrophe in commercial real estate: in their universe the only bad loans were those made to poor people and members of minority groups, because bad loans to developers of shopping malls and office towers don’t fit the narrative.

In part, the prevalence of this narrative reflects the principle enunciated by Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” As Democrats have pointed out, three days before the House vote on banking reform Republican leaders met with more than 100 financial-industry lobbyists to coordinate strategies. But it also reflects the extent to which the modern Republican Party is committed to a bankrupt ideology, one that won’t let it face up to the reality of what happened to the U.S. economy.

Living in the center of the Alberta Oilpatch's financial capital in downtown Calgary as I do, that Upton Sinclair quote is terrifyingly apt.

1 comment:

Larry Gambone said...

It is called denial. Right-wingers are in a perpetual state of denial

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