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FT.com: It's mourning again for Americans (September 20, 2008)

Since 1989 one of the most important US global exports has been its open-market ideology. At home, even as the super-rich pulled further and further ahead of everyone else, Americans largely had stuck with their aversion to class war. At the Republican National Convention, it still was perfectly acceptable to assert the biggest problem with American government was that it was too big.


But on September 15 2008 the Reagan era officially came to an end. The sunny confidence in the superiority of the American way has been undermined now not only by Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib but also by the fact that this financial crisis has its epicentre on Wall Street, not Moscow, Mexico City or Mumbai. Even more importantly, after nearly three decades when the prevailing promise was to make government smaller - even Bill Clinton had to "end welfare as we know it" - the focus now will be on making government better, and probably bigger.

Yesterday was the first day of a new era of re-regulation - and it may be too much to hope that the pendulum doesn't again swing too far, albeit in the opposite direction.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 11:30:38 AM EST

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