WaPo's Pearlstein Writes Obituary for Capitalism
Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein predicted the death of the era of free-market capitalism with the hallmarks of âsmaller government, lower taxes, freer trade and more deregulation.â Because, according to Pearlstein, the free-market âmodelâ has not delivered âgoodsâ such as safety and fairness.
âIt's always risky to call turns in history, but my guess is that this consensus [toward free markets] is unraveling,â Pearlstein wrote in the Washington Post. âJust as the Gilded Age gave way to the Progressive Era and the New Deal gave way to the post-war era of big government, big business and big labor, the current era of free-market capitalism seems to be giving way to something else.â
Pearlstein didnât credit the union movement or the protectionist rhetoric heard every night on CNNâs âLou Dobbs Tonightâ for the demise of free-market capitalism he forecasted. Instead he blamed the government for not raising taxes so it could afford to play the role of provider.
âLet's be clear: It is not the protectionists of the AFL-CIO or CNN who are primarily to blame for the erosion of public support for trade in the United States, as bone-headed as they may be,â said Pearlstein. âThe blame lies squarely with a business community that continues to support Republican politicians who refuse to raise the taxes and spend the money necessary to provide the economic safety net for American workers that a free-market economy has not, and will not, provide.â
According to Pearlstein policies of lower taxes and less regulation â that grew from President Ronald Reaganâs legacy â have failed to provide other things that Americans value.
âFor the past 25 years, the
An August 1 Wall Street Journal editorial wasnât quite as morose as the Pulitzer-winning Pearlstein. As the Journal pointed out â the economic situation isnât as bad as the media are making it out to be.
âPhil Gramm had a point. Based on yesterday's report of a modest second quarter growth bounce, the former John McCain adviser was right when he said last month that we aren't in a recession,â the Journal said. âHe was impolitic, but the news is that the