It should be obvious to anyone paying attention to the economy during the last 30 years that the theories of the past have been incorrect about economic policy and the role of government.
Adam Smith's invisible hand has not led to the well being of our American capitalist society. The system which has evolved out of the deregulation/free market vision of the right has led to a corruption of our democracy to the point where America looks more like an Oligarchy in which greed is the dominant philosophical motivation and morality has been lost by those within and at the top of our economic and political hierarchy.
The crisis which reached its extreme in 2008 is both an economic and political one and should be a wake-up call to everyone.
It showed how dangerous the ideology of the right really is. It should make everyone realize that we need a big change in order to make America safe from another, possibly worse, downturn.
If we do not take steps now to correct the mistakes of the past 30 years, those mistakes will continue to hurt our society and our country. The belief that markets can take care of themselves and therefore government should not intrude has resulted in the largest intervention in the market by government in history.
What happened was not just a financial crisis, it was a breakdown of our American-capitalist system in both the economic and political arenas, and it spread all around the world and left few national economies and their societies untouched.
Let's face it: We need higher taxes, especially for those at the top who have reaped enormous rewards during the past 30 years and paid less taxes while the rest of society's rewards diminished. We need more and better regulations and regulators in banking and insurance.
We need to break up too-big-to-fail and too-big-to-manage financial institutions. We need more equitable health-care, education, housing and infrastructure. We need to downsize the political influence of lobbyists.
Our new vision must be a long-range vision with long-range solutions to the many and varied complex problems which still exist and will always exist unless we make drastic changes now.
The fact that our financial/economic system almost totally collapsed was the spark that ignites the fire of creativity so that morality comes to dominate materialism and not the other way around as it is now.
Our new vision should be one which is inclusive of all within our society, not just those at the top, as well as our global neighbors.
When our vision becomes reality, we will all feel we are part of the American community once again, and the inequitable divisions we now have will vanish.
Rev. Dean Rose, Altoona