The Republican party, and to a great extent, the Democratic party, have extolled the virtues of capitalism as the door to a prosperous future. During the past half century, the famous Chicago school of economics theorists such as Milton Friendman have assured the American people it was “the government” and its regulations which hampered the road to prosperity. As the Soviet Union collapsed, Republican leaders urged the end of government regulation of business which has arisen after the Depression in order to ensure that another economic calamity would not occur. The assumption was one could trust CEOs and Wall Street bankers and hedge fund leaders with the reins of economic power. They did not promise pie in the sky to everyone, just old fashioned a house of your dreams.
The critical test of the Obama administration is challenging free enterprise and restoring the concept that business alone without government regulation is the surest guarantee of economic disaster. It is vitally important for new legislation to control hedge fund managers and Wall Street bankers from calling economic decisions.