I’m happy that we don’t live in E.J. Dionne’s fantasy world. Yet. Because Dionne is trying as hard as he can to reduce our world to his fantasy. He starts with the premise that capitalism is dead and then pretends that the pomp surrounding his pronouncement is enough to distract from the missing body. The whole column is a mess, amounting to little more than Dionne mooning anyone who doesn’t believe that government is benevolent, productive, and wise.
I don’t want to spend too much time mucking around in that. Allow me to offer one example and then I’ll move on. Writing on how conservatives now understand the need for regulation, he writes:
Bernanke said the Fed needed more authority to get inside “the structure and workings of financial markets” because “recent experience has clearly illustrated the importance, for the purpose of promoting financial stability, of having detailed information about money markets and the activities of borrowers and lenders in those markets.” Sure sounds like Big Government to me.
Or I could read Mr. Bernanke’s statement that “having detailed information” means better disclosure, not a call for government management of financial markets. Oversight is not control. Words have meaning.
The rest of the essay is the same boring appeal to authority when facts are inconvenient. Any argument that relies on an emotional appeal from an individual whose credibility is supposed to be based on facts – “A cozy boardroom back-scratching operation offends me.” – is not an argument worth entertaining longer than the time it takes to suggest the debater grow up.