Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Big government and big business hand in hand
Years ago, when the likes of Barry Goldwater were railing against the creation of big government, an idea was offered that if government got big enough, it could be overtaken by big business, and that an inefficient allocation of market resources would result. In other words, big business would use big government to control the markets and bleed the people dry.
Such was scoffed at by most Republicans and Democrats alike. Well, a little over forty years later, we have big government ran by big business. Millions from insurance companies and banks alone go into the campaign coffers of Democrats and Republicans alike. Interesting enough, legislation and regulations seem to increasingly favor those insurance companies and banks as the contributions to both parties go up.
The control of big government by big business is clear in everyday American life. Suppose you have a credit card and you have used it at Macy’s over the years. Now, for whatever reason, you use it a few times at Wal-Mart. Well, the Democratic Congress has allowed banks to use that information to determine that by shopping at Wal-Mart instead of Macy’s that you might be an increased credit risk, thus the bank is allowed to raise your rate, lower your limit, and ding your credit score. Never mind that you just wanted to save some money or that you never miss a credit card payment. Banks have made sure Congress dances to their tune with campaign cash so that they can find any excuse to milk more money from their customers. As if the trillion dollars of taxpayer money over the past year was not enough.
Further, if you live in South Carolina, the Republican ran General Assembly worked with automobile insurance companies to see that your credit, that was dinged because you chose to shop at Wal-Mart, can be a factor in raising your automobile insurance rates. Again, never mind that you have a perfect driving record.
Of course, the crowning achievement of the insurance lobby will be President Obama’s health care plan, which will fine people, with the IRS behind it, for not buying health insurance from insurance companies. It is bad enough that automobile insurance carriers got a financial boondoggle years ago when most states required people purchase an automobile insurance policy to drive on the public roads. Now, if you cannot afford to buy health insurance, the big government is going to help you by fining you if you do not buy a policy from one of the private insurance companies that line campaign pockets.
True conservatism has always been about reducing government’s role and standing for true freedom. The bigger government grows, the bigger the influence of big interest groups and big business grows over the average American’s life. As that influence grows, freedom is curtailed, the markets are hampered, and the average person grows more and more frustrated with his situation. As such, the United States is headed into an especially conflicting period over the next two election cycles. On one side will be those, in both parties, who benefit from the status quo, and on the other side will be those who tap into the frustration of average Americans as more and more of their lives seems to be dictated to them. There is no way of predicting who will win. But, as government continues to grow and big business continues to use it get more money from the American people; it seems that the very ideals of freedom, individual liberty and America itself are on the line.