Virtual Voices

Lie to me

Economy

"For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying," wrote Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf. Those were the days when politicians across the globe discovered the first weapon of mass destruction. Dictators and elected leaders used mass media to greatly enhance the impact of their lies. Stalin, Hitler, and FDR admired, envied, and learned from each other in a race to consolidate power in the face of great economic, political, and military challenges.

The propaganda machine in the Soviet Union cemented a deep suspicion against private enterprise in the heads of several generations. The ministry of Goebbels in Nazi Germany unified the nation against an imaginary racial foe. One of the most remarkable successes of the American government propaganda in the early 1930s was persuading the general public that the New Deal has ended the age of unbridled, monopolistic, abusive capitalism to usher in a new era of recognizing the needs and protecting the rights of wage laborers and consumers.

The traces of this colossal lie are obvious a lifetime later. American "progressives" hail the longest-serving U.S. president as a hero of the workers' movement. At the "conservative" side of the political spectrum we keep hearing how Roosevelt's programs were "anti-business." What most of the New Deal fans and their equally passionate opponents do not realize is that, regardless of announced intentions, FDR's acts have institutionalized the symbiosis between big business and big government.

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Regulation of the American financial markets has produced unintended consequences that few of us like. It has segmented the market, restricted entry, and dampened competition leading to the creation of financial giants. Why should we be surprised today that those institutions have acted on the assumption that the government will back them should they make too big of a mess? Unless "We the People" treat with proper, traditional, deep suspicion the ambitious plans of any politician to increase regulation of Wall Street, Main Street, or the healthcare industry, we run the risk of a future administration asking our children to bail out yet another gang of losers that have grown "too big to fail."

Alex Tokarev
Alex Tokarev

Alex is the chair of the Department of Business at Morthland College in West Frankfort, Ill., and teaches at Northwood University in Midland, Mich. The native of communist Bulgaria fanatically supports the Bulgarian soccer team, Levski.

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