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Letter: A stunning lack of insight

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Ah, another season of wondrous politics in which those who have done the most to destroy the economy and our international standing while increasing health costs and the national debt, are the very same individuals and groups who are most righteously indignant! As culpability increases, so seemingly does immunity from any introspective sense of humility and acceptance of responsibility.

In the collapse of the housing market, the right has proclaimed that Barney Frank and Jimmy Carter held guns to the heads of Fanny and Freddie and made them lend billions to folks with no credit. In truth, the pressure was to stop discriminatory lending practices which had been explicable only by reference to skin color. It was the "entrepreneur spirit" guided by neither scruples nor, as conservatives had demanded, regulatory oversight, which produced illusions of continuing prosperity, and then a very real collapse.

Regarding the (un)affordability of health insurance: When the debate starts from the premise that government is by nature incorrigibly incompetent, the private sector is immediately granted exemption from justifying numerous built-in costs and inefficiencies. The resulting empires of redundancy leave us with less "bang for the buck" than any other "first-world nation," yet single payer systems cannot be seriously contemplated as such is heresy to our political faith.

And never heard from the zealous "pro-lifers" is any admission of associated societal expenses, much less a desire to shoulder them. Particularly amusing is the notion that private enterprise, left to its own devices, will bring us pain-free prosperity.

No number of oil spills or financial shenanigans or invasive species will convince them of a need for any regulation. The sad truth is that, as the country gets more crowded and our technologies and chemicals become increasingly potent and our space and resources more limited, the need for governance likewise increases. Failure to anticipate maintenance, resource, and regulatory needs and to act prudently does no favor to future generations.

With few exceptions, this past century's history of Republican strategies has been the creation or exacerbation of parlous straits followed by opprobrious indignation at consequent costs when Democrats attempt amelioration.

Fred Cogelow

Willmar

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