The rigged revolving door

The Economist has often really cogent views of America that American commentators cannot get into, a sort of self-myopia. The recent article on Peter Orzag’s transfer from the cabinet of government to the wood paneled offices of a bailed out Wall Street institution, Citigroup, is a case in point. This passage is really germane:

Progressives laudably seek to oppose injustice by deploying government power as a countervailing force against the imagined oppressive and exploitative tendencies of market institutions. Yet it seems that time and again market institutions find ways to use the government’s regulatory and insurer-of-last-resort functions as countervailing forces against their competitors and, in the end, against the very public these functions were meant to protect.

We are constantly exploited by the tools meant to foil our exploitation.

The Blogger W.W. offers two weasel words in that first sentence which reads more properly if you strike them out- Laudably and imagined. Taking the latter firstly, what about the exploitative tendencies is imagined? Their ability to use power to gain advantage a la this revolving door acquisition of Peter Orzag? Their ability to profit at the expense of the middle and lower income individual a la predatory lending? Their ability to maintain their management’s power and position even in the face of large scale failure requiring taxpayer bailouts? Fraud on gigantic scale a la forclosuregate?

Secondly, re lauding the progressives stance against all this. Polite applause from the sidelines is not sufficient. Laud is not sought, but support. Soon enough it will come to a new progressive activism in America. Do not be surprised when it comes.

What else should should I say?

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