Klein: The disaster is far from over. They've actually just relocated. The disaster was on Wall Street and they have moved the disaster to Main Street by accepting those debts and you said they didn't have to bomb, the bomb has yet to detonate. The bomb is the debt that has now been transferred to the taxpayers so it detonates when, if John McCain becomes president in the midst of an economic crisis and says look we're in trouble, we have a disaster on our hands, we have to privatize social security, we can't afford health care, we can't afford food stamps, we need more deregulation, more privatization. The thesis of the Shock Doctrine is you need a disaster to rationalize these very unpopular policies so the real disaster has yet to come.The real disaster is the debt that is going to explode on the American taxpayers. And then they do economic shock therapy.
They had to step in, but I don't think they had to step in in the way they did. The reason why the stock market went up on Wall Street today is because it's Christmas morning. Imagine waking up and being told your credit card debits have been wiped out, your mortgage has been erased. There's a fairy godmother that has taken care of you. A guardian angel. But actually that's the tax payers.
Sullivan: You're favoring nationalizing the other companies.and most industries?
Klein: No, I'm just saying. This is socialism for the rich.
Maher: Why are you so hostile towards this?
Sullivan: Because I think the fundamental thesis that she is proposing is wrong. I think the reason why we're in this situation is not demonizing a few individual companies, it's systemic. And part of the reason we have this is the American People. The American people since the 70's have had stagnating income, so they decided to get something for nothing. And the government never told them they couldn't. So we have the stock bubble of the 90's and now we have the real estate bubble in the 2000's.
Klein: That's not why we have this.
Sullivan: And the government never told them they couldn't. Wall Street is to blame for giving these people these loans, but no one is ever forced to take out a bad load they cannot pay.
Klein: The reason why this bubble was allowed to inflate was not that the American people demanded it, it was spectacularly profitable for Wall Street. Just in bonuses last year, they handed out 33 billion dollars in bonuses... The problem is we have crybaby capitalism where when the times are good they are preaching deregulation and when the times are bad they want the bail-outs. The problem I have with your argument is where is this ideal capitalism of which you speak?
Here is the problem with Andrew Sullivan's view of "personal responsibility", it doesn't work. If you remove regulation of the market greedy people take advantage of the lack of protections and prey on the vulnerable, just like if you remove speed limits, those who don't normally speed will, and those who already do will do so even more. The role of government is to govern men, as in protect them from themselves and each other. The common man does not have the education nor the understanding of economics that, oh let's just say a financial lender does!!! So Sullivan's "personal responsibility" belief has been tested on a national level and has fallen flat, and his cavalier attitude of "it's everyone's fault" smacks of the typical conservative response they give when presented with the consequences of their ideology: First, say it is not a time to point fingers. Second, spread the blame around and include the general public if possible. And finally when all else fails, resort to the "No true Scotsman" fallacy and claim that the ultra right wing Bush Administration are really a bunch of leftists and not "real conservatives". No, really, he actually tried to pull that.
This financial meltdown is the baby of deregulation and the people who have championed it are going to have to own up to it.