The meltdown of the financial markets in the 11th hour of Bush's tenure as President cements his status as the worst president ever in my mind. While this mess has been a long time in the making, I have no doubt that Bush exacerbated the problem. This is the man who repeatedly and unabashedly appointed industry lobbyists to "regulate" the industries they tried to exempt from government oversight.
Lawrence Mitchell, the author of The Speculation Economy: How Finance Triumphed Over Industry says it was the triumph of ideology over caution.So much for the ownership society.
"Since Ronald Reagan became president in 1980, free markets have been preached in this country as being our economic salvation," Mitchell says.
" 'Government regulation' we've been told, 'is bad, it's evil, and the government doesn't know what it's doing economically'."
" 'It should be out of people's business'. That's nonsense, but that was the ideology that was driving it. 'Regulation is bad, free market is good'."
The next president after Clinton, George Bush, continued to de-regulate housing and financial markets and bragged about the results at the 2004 Republican convention, saying: "Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society, because ownership brings security and dignity and independence. |How the financial bubble burst - Al Jazeera|