Tag Archive for free market

Proud ‘nanny-stater’

Signing the Declaration of Independence

Government, of by and for the people.

A Nov. 17 letter in the Times-Call, “Small government, free market a radical idea,” prompted me to throw my hat into the ring of ideas. When the Founding Fathers are invoked as some sort of demigods, I like to remind the public that in fact they were really a bunch of privileged white men who helped put together a two-tiered system that perpetuated the continued advantage of their class. Women, Native Americans, slaves, indentured servants and those who owned no land were not part of the design.

But they were not all bad and had some great vision. For one thing, they were anti “free market,” if free market is defined as allowing corporations to wield as much power as they do today. The revolution was as much against huge corporations like the East India Company, whose tea was dumped into the bay, as it was against the King of England. The modern “tea party” derives from a revolt against corporate power, even though this subtlety seems to escape many who consider themselves “tea partiers.” In revolutionary times corporations were chartered by states, which could “pull the charters” if corporations got too powerful. They were tightly regulated and political contribution by corporations was a criminal offense. Corporations gained the ludicrous distinction of “personhood” nearly a century later.

The mention of “nanny state” in this letter makes me chuckle! This phrase must have been hatched by some “Fox News derisive moniker wizard.” Well, I’m all for a nanny state. Government, of by and for the people. A single-payer health system. Unions that provide a countervailing force against corporate looting of the middle class and the Earth. I guess I’m a proud “nanny-stater” and proud to endorse the Occupy Wall Street movement. Hopefully we will wake up before our children inherit a feudal state.

The Private Sector should not dictate Public Policy

The following Letter to the Editor appeared in the Longmont Times-Call on July 11, 2010.

Charles Hanson makes the role of the public sector clear

We've never been the bottom line

The aristocratic and plutocratic minorities of society never tire of berating and slurring the interests of the common people, as Mr. Larison’s letter [7/7/10] proves. And no wonder. The power and the privileges of Longmont’s wealth aristocracy would be jeopardized if local progressives accomplished any sudden enlightenment of the general public.

In spite of the private sector’s pretense of concern for the welfare of the community, the private sector does not exist for the general improvement of society nor does it carry any burden for securing the well-being of the common person. The responsibility for securing and maintaining the general welfare falls only upon the public sector, and progressives are the primary supporters of a strong public sector.

Unregulated free-market activity, which the private sector endorses, always results in extremes of wealth and privilege; extremes which corrupt civility, destabilize the social order and plunder the natural environment. Therefore, local government should be progressive. That is, local government should be capable of utilizing taxation and legislation as necessary; and City Council members – as representatives of the common person – should have the mandate to prevent the private sector from dictating public policy to the community.