To hear liberals tell it, the economic plunge of 2008 and 2009 marked the failure of free market capitalism, says James K. Glassman in Commentary. Competition was supposed to result in abundance, French President Nicolas Sarkozy remarked at the time, "but instead one got scarcity, the triumph of profit-oriented thinking, speculation, and dumping." The crisis, Sarkozy added with glee, heralded the "return of the state." But liberals aren't celebrating any more. In fact, with the recovery still sputtering despite their massive stimulus program and new business regulations and bailouts, now it's the believers in Big Government whose policies have been discredited. Here, an excerpt:
What bothers the public, plain and simple, is that the steps that were taken to mitigate the recession — which involved greater government involvement, including ownership of the largest auto and insurance companies, and vastly more federal spending — have not worked.
Worse, the public believes federal action was especially unhelpful to the mass of Americans....
There is no denying that the narrative about how greedy financiers caused the economic crisis still has currency. But another narrative now looms larger. It is that the government’s attempts to fix the problem through spending have been ineffectual at best and, more likely, dangerous to our economic health.