What is the role of government in the US today? The marketers say, To ruin the market. And they’re backed up by Dean Baker, an economist who actually studies the real problems.
One of those problems is economic inequality, which is now at levels last seen just before the Depression, and for similar reasons. Another is the fact the government tends to intervene in the market for one purpose only: to take money from the poor (that is, the bottom 90%) and give it to the incredibly rich.
Usually people in the United States like to believe that the market determines the distribution of income. Many get outraged over the idea that a mother on TANF can get a check for a few hundred dollars a month from the government. In this case, the government is effectively handing checks of millions of dollars to bank executives who would be out of work if the market was left to run its course.
We have to keep the financial system functioning, but we can do this without transferring hundreds of billions of dollars from middle class taxpayers to the wealthiest people in the country. If the bailout conditions imposed by the Obama administration and Congress don’t effectively eliminate shareholder wealth in the bankrupt banks and bring compensation (in whatever form) of bank executives back down to main street levels then it can only be explained by corruption. There is no excuse for this massive intervention to redistribute income upward.