After a two year absence, Thomas Frank rejoined The Luncheon Society in San Francisco to discuss his latest book, “Pity the Billionaire, The Hard Time Swindle and the Unlikely comeback of the Right.”
Called “The Thinking Man’s Michael Moore” by Michael Kinsley and the author of What’s the Matter with Kansas and The-Wrecking-Crew , Frank took us through the deregulatory environment that turned a blind eye to the housing bubble that finally burst in 2008, only weeks before the national election. This started the long chain of events that became The Great Recession, the biggest economic mess since the Herbert Hoover gave us The Great Depression.
However, the big surprise came in the spring of 2009, when the Tea Party movement purged their moderates and demanded a return, with a sense of amnesiac incredulity, to the same circumstances that led to the “Train Wreck of 2008.”
It would be, as Frank describes, “as if the public had demanded dozens of new nuclear power plants in the days after the Three Mile Island disaster.”
On NPR, Franked continued, “The central paradox of our time is that we’ve just come through this extraordinary financial collapse. We know that this was almost directly the result of 30 years of bank deregulation and of all the sort of financial experimentation that our government encouraged. This disaster was caused by this ideology.”
And what the Tea Party movement and what the conservative revival generally is telling us to do,” Frank notes, “is instead of reversing course, instead of going back and saying, OK, maybe we should have a well-funded Securities Exchange Commission. Maybe we should go back and break up the too-big-to-fail banks.”
He concludes, “What they’re saying is, no, no. Get government out of the picture altogether. We need not to reverse course. We need to double down on that ideology that we’ve been following all these years. Only when we get to that sort of pure state of complete free markets, then our problems will be solved. And until that day, none of this stuff matters.” Continue reading