Yukos, U.S.A. by mattsteinglass
September 17, 2008, 11:43 pm
Filed under: Economics

Ezra Klein notes: “one of the odd facts about this crisis is that the elected branches of government have been completely cut out of the response. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have not, as far as anyone can tell, been steering the ship…Congress, too, has been cut totally out of the loop….the ship is being steered by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Secretary, and an informal working group of Wall Street CEOs and banking powerhouses. And the government, as we normally think of it, has basically accepted their temporary authority.”

This is a good point, and the “informal working group of Wall Street CEOs and banking powerhouses” raises, again, the question: In what sense is the United States governed more democratically than China? Discuss.


1 Comment so far
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Hmmmm…so you’ve joined us classical liberals in our critique of government interference in the economy? Welcome to the club, my friend. It is in fact modern liberals who are invested in this corporatist vision of government, one that allows bending the market to produce results in keeping with their perception of the public interest. I am not saying this is always wrong; what I am saying is that it is akin to what is happening now, and I find it mildly hypocritical for a self-described liberal such as yourself to criticize what is happening now, but to be fine with many other interventions in the economy.

One answer to your question is that the Chinese equivalent of the Fed Chairman and Treasury Secretary is not appointed and approved by democratically elected officials, but that was the obvious answer. I believe your valid point is that the Fed and Treasury are acting arbitrarily with no short-term check on their actions.

Comment by Mal Armstrong

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