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Toward a *new* New Deal

The meltdown of the investment banking system may result in exactly what we don’t need — even more federal intervention into our lives:

Seventy-five years ago, facing the catastrophic, worldwide failure of the free market, Franklin Roosevelt launched what is perhaps the greatest democratic experiment of the twentieth century. Touching nearly every aspect of American life, the New Deal transformed banking, business, labor, agriculture, arts and literature, urban and rural landscapes and, of course, the relationship of citizens to government itself.

I don’t know that I’d call it a democratic experiment. “Socialist” is more accurate. And George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” doesn’t look all that different from where I sit.

At its most basic level, it’s government enforced redistribution of wealth, and the economic crisis spawned by the collapsing Ponzi scheme hatched by investment banks and bond traders will likely cause the American public to demand more of it.

Sadly, the only major difference between the two main political parties today is the method of control — whether the federal government or oligarchs should run your life. Same net effect, just different flavors of totalitarianism.

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