Skip to main content

Let’s respond to politicians, pundits, and journalists who sing a chorus about the threat of “big government” by telling them to stop pretending.  Stop pretending that government is, by definition, an obstruction and a problem.  Put them on the defensive.  Challenge them to back up their claims, because they can’t.  Their answers will be full of holes, easy to shoot down, and will only draw more attention to the story that few prominent voices are acknowledging.

Stop pretending that most Americans—including themselves—have thrived “on their own,” without government.  Most Americans, and especially the economically stable and affluent, have long benefitted from and indeed depended on the federal presence and federal spending, both direct and indirect.  Stop pretending that homeowners (those not underwater) have not received heavy subsidies from the federal government since World War II via powerful mortgage insurance programs and the tax code.  Stop pretending that business owners, small and (especially) large have not relied on federal regulation and largesse, ranging from trade policies to generous spending on research and development to the direct federal purchases that have sustained countless markets (aerospace, synthetics, the computer industry, the internet. . .).  Stop pretending that agribusiness does not sustain its profit margin thanks to significant federal subsidies that are regularly renewed by Congress.  Stop pretending that the American financial sector is some kind of “free market” miracle, testament solely to the entrepreneurial spirit and creative powers of farsighted investors.  Stop pretending that Americans with steady, well-paying jobs and health insurance have simply earned their good fortune, whereas those who struggle have not yet proven their worth.  

The list goes on and on.  Let’s challenge these commentators and policy makers to document their claims, to prove their argument.  Let’s challenge them to stop pretending that the “market,” alone, picks the winners and losers.  Let’s tell them to do their homework, to look at what actually happened and how government actions continue to shape the playing field.  It’s clear, for anyone who looks, that the lines between the private and public sectors have never been so sharp.  Challenge one of these voices to stop pretending, and demand that they make their case.  Because they can’t.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Click here for the mobile view of the site