Thursday, March 29, 2007

Why People Don't Trust Big Business

Despite my lean to the left on most issues, I have always been hesitant to bash market capitalism because I think it essentially makes our way of life possible. But I always take exception to other market proponents who suggest that the government should have no role in correcting the problems caused by the same markets. It just isn't realistic. I agree that government control is a bad solution, but that isn't the same as government oversight. The metaphor I would use is that of a train. You don't want government to be the locomotive, but it would be nice for it to provide effective rails to make sure the train stays on track.

The Washington Post had a story today that again displays the need for such guide rails. It seems Circuit City has decided to fire 3,400 employees for the egregious error of making as much money as Circuit City previously deemed they were worth. The workers that were laid off made from $11 to $18 an hour.

What could the government do about it? I don't know. But it is a healthy reminder that when left to their own devices, markets can create all kinds of bad behavior.

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