John Allison on the choice that faces us:

“The U.S. has a simple choice – return to the principles that made us great or face economic decay and social unrest. One of the reasons I wrote my book is because it seemed to make sense to have someone who had an inside and comprehensive understanding of the causes of our financial problems to comment on the issue. In the aftermath of the recent election, it’s even more important for the public and policy makers to understand what drove the financial crisis and what choices we must make to revitalize our economy. The media and other statists have created a myth that the financial crisis was caused by banking deregulation and greed on Wall Street. However, banks were not deregulated. In fact, three major new regulations were passes during the Bush Administration: The Privacy Act, The Patriot Act, and Sarbanes-Oxley. Banks were mis-regulated, not de-regulated. Also, there has always been plenty of greed (and fear) on Wall Street. However, there is not one shred of evidence there was a greed plague that swept the Street. The financial crisis and failed recovery were primarily caused by government policy. The two main culprits were errors made by the Federal Reserve and government housing policy, specifically as executed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the giant government-sponsored enterprises that would never have existed in a free market. My book covers this and other economic myths and misunderstanding such as the ‘shadow’ banking system, fair value accounting, Pick-a-Payment mortgages, and the like. However, as interesting as the economic discussion is, the real solution for our financial problems is philosophical and the cure was espoused by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ People on all sides of the political spectrum defend liberty, but few people understand why liberty is essential to human well-being. Government regulations put ‘balls and chains’ on innovators and entrepreneurs and thereby, slow and eventually stop progress. Given man’s nature, socialism and communism are doomed to failure. So, again, I say, the U.S. has a simple choice: The laws of mother nature and human nature are not subject to popularity or political whim. Capitalism or decline. You choose.”

Radicals for Capitalism

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