The American Commons In One Morning’s Readings

In one morning’s readings I read about how Carly Fiorina disparaged the candidates’ ability to run a large multinational like Hewlett Packard saying that running a large multinational is not like being President. She’s one to talk: she was ousted by Hewlett Packard in 2005 and she has never served as President. What is she doing giving advice?

I also read about U.S. bail-outs for under regulated corporate behemoths like AIG, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, about the acquisition of the banking and real estate assets of the failed Lehman Brothers or the acquisition of Merrill Lynch by BankAmerica.

Such a whirlwind of destruction… Here truly is the collapse of a house of cards, a fantasy of unfettered exuberance and unregulated greed. And here also lies the problem.

I do not subscribe to the idea that greed is a “mortal sin” visiting the wrath of God upon humans, but a selfishness that is endemic to liberal, unregulated capitalism and a selfishness that has cheapened the American commons. It is in fact, the same selfishness that creates inequality at home and in the world.

As far as my personal freedoms are concerned, I wholly subscribe to the idea that that government is best that governs least. But there is a cost to such freedom, and that cost lies in regulating the commons; The role of government lies in, must lie in regulating the commons for the greater good.

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