Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

March 18, 2004

by V

Free markets for me, not for thee

Wait... I thought the canonical Republican position was that goverment intervention is basically Bad and that whenever possible you should Let The Market Decide.

So if, say, obscenity is what sells, why do Republicans feel such an urgent need to intervene directly in the content market [NYTimes], charging fines to people just for experimenting with purveying different types of content? Isn't that how unfettered capitalism is supposed to work?

I certainly have the impression from right-wingers that the concept of market failure and the use of regulation were leftist fetishes, crutches for limp-wristed liberals who can't handle the actions of Free, Manly Capitalists.

Surely we needn't regulate industries which can pollute the environment - how dare you interfere with the market! But pollution of the airwaves? Stiff fines for the lot of them, and we may even take away their broadcast licenses! Contradiction? Us?

Given the broad strokes and simple palette which Republicans paint with, I'd really love to see one have to defend their support of the FCC's intervention in a free-market context. There's a definite argument you can make, but it involves repudiating some key Republican shibboleths. Watching one of them try to squirm out of the implications of their behavior would be fun.

As usual, if we had a real press corps, I'd get to see that happen. But I haven't yet.
Posted by V at March 18, 2004 10:54 PM | TrackBack

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