If one lesson can be learned from both the Gulf Oil spill and the Wall Street financial bailout debacle it’s that oversight by competent regulators is critical to protect the public.

At every level of the governmental process, elected officials and both state and federal agencies either stood by and took no action at all, or worse, turned the regulatory process over to those private companies that caused all the damage.

The current and ongoing oil spill disaster points once again to the fact that there is a wretched epic of “regulatory” failure and our knowledge of the fact that literally nothing has changed in the attitude or actions of these governmental derelicts is the most graphic proof yet of the absolute, irrecoverable failure of this political system.

So where does the fault lie? There is plenty of blame to aim at both major political parties. The Demodon’ts and the Republican’ts have both shown, time and time again, an inability to put teeth into a system of public protection. Their mantra has been “free enterprise” and “get the government off our backs.”

We all want a “leave us alone” mentality, that is, until Katrina, Wall Street rip-offs, insurance fraud, 9/11 and Gulf oil spills. Just like there are no atheists in foxholes, we turn from free enterprise capitalists to socialists when disaster strikes. But then we presume that the government can put things right because it is so big and powerful.

Read the rest of Jim Brown’s weekly column here.

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