Which means Washington soon will be swarming with debate-squelching "progressives," substituting their top-down certainty of what's best in place of countless individual decisions of the polity in a free market. Don't believe me? Well, Obama advisers Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein said so, in the April 17th Boston Globe:
In a standard economic analysis of the mortgage market, the working hypothesis is that borrowers are capable of choosing the best mortgage for their financial circumstances.Thaler and Sunstein want increased transparency, in the form of electronic loan documentation that easily can be evaluated against other lenders. This seems odd: if they believe consumers are incapable of understanding finance, more data are unlikely to help.
This assumption might have been reasonable back in the days when nearly every mortgage was a simple 30-year fixed-rate loan. It is now preposterous.
In any event, especially should the crisis worsen, next year is looking like progressivism's Perfect Storm, says Ross Douthat in the Atlantic:
The convergence of an economic crisis and complete Democratic control of Washington should alarm even those conservatives eager to wash their hands of the GOP. The best reason for even the most disaffected right-winger to root for a McCain victory is simple: To the extent that much of the progressive agenda is a program in search of a crisis to justify its implementation, an election that delivers a liberal candidate who's adored by the media to White House, gives him huge majorities in both houses of Congress, and presents him with a worldwide state of emergency in which to govern, has the potential to be not just another loss for conservatives, but a once-in-a-generation defeat.Meaning that the nanny state is back or, if it hadn't gone, will be locked-in. That can't be good for the economy.