To ring in 2009, the N&O printed this piece that mindlessly recites the Democrat talking points that the current financial crisis is due to "unregulated markets" and the laughable claim that the Bush presidency has been one of hard-core laissez-faire ideology.
capitalism ends up confronting democratic governments with a subprime choice:
Either let a major institution go down and watch as chaos follows (the Lehman
option) or funnel gobs of the public's money into such institutions to avoid
such Lehman-like chaos.
Of course, like virtually every cry of "unregulated" capitalism, there is no mention of just what regulations were taken away, or what specific regulations would have prevented the poor financial decisions that have lead to this recession. I've written before about this fallacy, and how it was in fact an erosion of market discipline and countless government interventions into the marketplace that is largely to blame for the rash of investment errors bringing our economy down. I'll spare you readers the laundry list of government meddling into the housing industry; if you're not aware of them by now, shame on you. Economist Tyler Cowen touches on the regulation canard nicely in this article.
The article then serves its duty in helping to perpetuate the "big lie" (if a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes accepted at truth) that the last eight years was some free market renaissance. The left is trying to paint the Bush years as an example of pure free market fundamentalism. Fact is, however, government grew at historic proportions during Bush's tenure (spending, Medicare expansion, No Child Left Behind, Homeland Security, etc.). If they think the last eight years was one of limited government, I hate to see their version of an activist one.
Looks like more of the same from the N&O in 2009 – more economic fallacies, more big government cheerleading, and a continued endorsement of the erosion of personal liberty.