Back in December, Jeb Bush wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Capitalism and the Right to Rise,” which came from a phrase by Paul Ryan. I know, I know, hearing Jeb Bush, Wall Street Journal, and Paul Ryan in one sentence creates a uniquely degrading kind of pain, something along the lines of being sodomized with a broom handle. Nevertheless, there was a passage in his article that has particular relevance today. This is it:
We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise. We have to let them compete. We need to let people fight for business. We need to let people take risks.We need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions. And we need to let people enjoy the fruits of good decisions, even good luck. [italics added]Let’s just ignore for the moment that Jeb Bush has never had to compete for anything in his life, nor has he ever been made to suffer for any of his bad decisions. This kind of hypocrisy should no longer surprise us. It’s just part of the landscape these days, something that’s become as American as high fructose corn syrup and predator drones. No, we’ll be good sports and let that slide. There will be plenty of time to call Jeb an asshole later. What I’m interested in is how Jeb and his tribe of free marketeers are going to respond to the news that JP Morgan Chase has lost $2 billion because of ‘risky’ (i.e., fraudulent) trading, the same kind that crashed the economy in 2008.
Their CEO Jamie Dimon himself admitted that “egregious mistakes were made.” That doesn’t leave much wiggle room, does it? Is the cult of capitalism going to insist that he pay for these egregious mistakes as the free market demands? After all, we need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions, right?