In Defense of Big Government

In light of recent corporate scandals, Paul Krugman calls for “effective regulation to police that kind of bad behavior, not least so that ethical businesspeople aren’t at a disadvantage when competing with less scrupulous types. But we knew that, right?”

“Well, we used to know it, thanks to the muckrakers and reformers of the Progressive Era. But Ronald Reagan insisted that government is always the problem, never the solution, and this has become dogma on the right.”

“A case in point: This week Jeb Bush, who has an uncanny talent for bad timing, chose to publish an op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal denouncing the Obama administration for issuing ‘a flood of creativity-crushing and job-killing rules.’”

“The thing is, Mr. Bush isn’t wrong to suggest that there has been a move back toward more regulation under Mr. Obama … But the regulatory rebound is taking place for a reason. Maybe we had too much regulation in the 1970s, but we’ve now spent 35 years trusting business to do the right thing with minimal oversight — and it hasn’t worked.”

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