Let the Market Decide…

One of the thing that puzzles me about McCain’s mantra of free market choices, another version of “Let the market decide”… is frankly that he seems very confused.

He is talking as if the market hasn’t been deciding anything as if we just don’t have enough free market choices…

The market has been deciding quite a bit…

The market has decided that it is perfectly acceptable to have millions of uninsured Americans. The market has decided that it is acceptable that some folks who do have access to health insurance either can’t afford it because their wages are too low or the deductibles are too high. The market thinks it is just grand that Americans probably die because they can’t afford treatment and  prevention seek it too late as a result. See people are just deciding to die.

The market has decided that it is just fine and dandy to allow massive increases in educational costs. The market has decided that it is fine for poor kids with no other options to join up in the fight on two war fronts. The market has decided that these kids should die to make gigantic profits for private contractors who deliver sub-standard services and goods. The market has decided it is not a problem for returning vets to have no other alternative but an underfunded VA service.

The market has decided that bailing out corporations instead of working Americans who pay the taxes is the best alternative.

The market has been deciding life and death issues for an awfully long time.

We all know when the MSM actually notes a trend it is probably deeply pervasive and much larger.

Note this CNN story about the growth of tent cities. My question: how many others are there that just haven’t gotten big enough to warrant attention?

From Seattle to Athens, Georgia, homeless advocacy groups and city agencies are reporting the most visible rise in homeless encampments in a generation

Nearly 61 percent of local and state homeless coalitions say they’ve experienced a rise in homelessness since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007, according to a report by the National Coalition for the Homeless. The group says the problem has worsened since the report’s release in April, with foreclosures mounting, gas and food prices rising and the job market tightening

According to the story temporary shelter areas are proliferating in a wide range of places…

The relatively tony city of Santa Barbara, California, has given over a parking lot to people who sleep in cars and vans. The city of Fresno, California, is trying to manage several proliferating tent cities, including an encampment where people have made shelters out of scrap wood.

In Portland, and Seattle, homeless advocacy groups have paired with nonprofits or faith-based groups to manage tent cities as outdoor shelters. Other cities where tent cities have either appeared or expanded include include Chattanooga, Tennessee; San Diego, California; and Columbus, Ohio.

Naturally statistics don’t take note of the trend…

The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently reported a 12 percent drop in homelessness nationally in two years, from about 754,000 in January 2005 to 666,000 in January 2007. But the 2007 numbers omitted people who previously had been considered homeless — such as those staying with relatives or friends or living in campgrounds or motel rooms for more than a week.

So apparently the market is also deciding that people really like camping in unusual areas. America land of the people who just love living in the great outdoors. Oh. I forgot, I guess that was a free market choice right?

I can just imagine us all huddled together in our tents watching the latest Food Network show about great thirty minute meals cooked outdoors! Swapping fried rat recipes. Finally losing those last few pounds from the brand new “no eating diet”. Won’t it be great? I sure am glad we live in a democratic country where everybody is so concerned about free market choices not some nasty socialist place that takes our civil rights away with things like forced health insurance or living wages.Phew!


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  1. Guess I better check and see if I have sleeping bags…

    • Robyn on September 21, 2008 at 12:57 am

    …is just code for “the wealthy can have whatever they want and the poor can have what’s left over…if the wealthy decide that serves a purpose.”

  2. …This was the assessment and judgement of James K. Galbraith on the Bush Administration’s responsibility in this finanacial disaster, along with “complicity up and down the line in the financial system.”

    Yes, they knew what they were doing.

    It was “…predatory practice on a gargantuan scale,”  according to Galbraith.  He’s been featured on KPFA radio, twice this week.  You can listen here  

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