This is the end of an editorial today in the NY Times.
Finally, Americans need to be told a more fundamental truth: This crisis is the result of a willful and systematic failure by the government to regulate and monitor the activities of bankers, lenders, hedge funds, insurers and other market players. All were playing high-stakes poker with the financial system, but without adequate transparency, oversight or supervision.
The regulatory failure, in turn, was grounded in the Bush administration’s magical belief that the market, with its invisible hand, works best when it is left alone to self regulate and self correct. The country is now paying the price for that delusion.
If lawmakers and administration officials really want to restore confidence, the bailout must be only a first step. The hard work of establishing and enforcing the regulations that are needed for a truly trustworthy financial system, still lies ahead.
I must say that the American people are also at fault. Anyone who believes you can spend, spend, spend, and not raise taxes and ignore the daily mounting deficit deserves what has happened. Children walk onto a college campus at eighteen years old and are handed a credit card. This is insane. Some are saddled with a debt for years, a debt almost impossible to repay as the interest rates and penalties add up. People voted for the one who told them they could have their cake and eat it too. It has made no sense, and we can say this is the fault of Wall Street, greed, Bush, Reagan, but it is the fault of the American people who wanted to believe the free ride would continue forever and who used Wal-Mart like a drug to stuff down their feelings as to what it means to have true quality of life and care for others, unity not division.
You know what I most admire about Barack Obama. He tells parents to read to their kids. I believe that is one of the most important things that he says, and maybe returning to books, books read out loud together and shared will take us back to touch, human touch and save the world.
The Republicans like to talk about family values. They lost all values, all values, and now we all pay the price for their arrogance, self-absorption and absolute ignorance of the laws of balance, of the conservation of matter and energy, and kindness and care.