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About Hegel and Wall Street regulation

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WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 04:  Paul Volcker (R), C...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The Stone essay in today’s NY Times discusses a philosophical aspect of financial regulation and deregulation. It ends on a note that points out how the US went wrong during the last 20 some years by lapsing into unmaking regulatory regimes that worked for so many years, all in the name of economic “freedoms”.

Here’s the last paragraph of that essay:

We know that nearly all the financial conditions that led to the economic crisis were the same in Canada as they were in the United States with a single, glaring exception: Canada did not deregulate its banks and financial sector, and, as a consequence, Canada avoided the worst of the economic crisis that continues to warp the infrastructure of American life.  Nothing but fierce and smart government regulation can head off another American economic crisis in the future.  This is not a matter of “balancing” the interests of free-market inventiveness against the need for stability; nor is it a matter of a clash between the ideology of the free-market versus the ideology of government control.  Nor is it, even, a matter of a choice between neo-liberal economic theory and neo-Keynesian theory.  Rather, as Hegel would have insisted, regulation is the force of reason needed to undo the concoctions of fantasy.

J.M. BernsteinJ.M. Bernstein is University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research and the author of five books. He is now completing a book entitled “Torture and Dignity.”

I respectfully submit to free market fanatics like my brother, JP Gagnon, that China is another economy and country that uses its version of authoritarian rule to benefit its people more effectively than “free markets’ benefit ordinary Americans. Wake up America and dump the money grubbers of Wall Street!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/10/03 at 17:45

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