Today’s New York Times worries “That the Good Times Were Mostly a Mirage.”
The chair of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, gave our (former) prosperity and stability a name. He called it “the great moderation.”
But radical conservatives mounted a multi-decade campaign against that moderation. They removed regulations, shrunk the divide between government and business, and denied that markets need grown-up supervision. Electricy deregulation brought us the Enron scam. Oil subsidies disadvantage competition for alternative energy. Banking deregulation brought us the subprime crisis.
Now Bernanke has intervened in his own way in the markets and the President is finally talking about stimulus. The challenge ahead is to turn the corner for real, and to admit that government actually has a positive role to play in the economy.