Reality therapy for liberals — and conservatives

May 9, 2011

Liberals in the era of Theodore Roosevelt thought that the  evils of the capitalist system could be contained by government regulation of the economy. Liberals in the era of Franklin Roosevelt — given power in the aftermath of the catastrophic collapse of the Great Depression — set up regulatory agencies to do just that.

Conservatives beginning in the era of Ronald Reagan pooh-poohed the dangers of capitalism and did their best to remove layer after layer of regulation.

Fukushima is the tip of the iceberg that is going to sink both theories. An honest look at society shows that the regulators always wind up being owned and operated by the regulated; it also shows that regulation is sorely needed.

While it is not at all clear what the answer may be — maybe there isn’t an answer — it is clear that neither liberals nor conservative theory is in close  touch with reality, and that while the cock-sure ideologues argue, our lives hang in the balance.

America’s Nuclear Nightmare

The U.S. has 31 reactors just like Japan’s — but regulators are ignoring the risks and boosting industry profits

The Davis-Besse nuclear generating station in Ohio, where a football-size hole overlooked by NRC inspectors nearly caused a catastrophe in 2002

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