Free to Fail

Watching Fox News last night, which I have to say is always an experience that is somehow entertaining and infuriating at the same time, I heard what I believe to be yet another conservative idea that will prove to be their complete undoing.

Basically, the idea I heard was that people are free to fail. They are free to make lousy decisions with their money and throw it away.

Sure, I agree. If people want to go to Las Vegas and blow it all on poker or whatever, more power to them. The money goes to the Las Vegas economy.

But I don’t agree that people have the ‘freedom’ to make bad mortgage loans. The truth is that people who are given bad loans are simply not savvy enough to understand that they are getting screwed. Just because someone can make a bad decision, like getting a high interest, short-term loan, that doesn’t mean that someone should be allowed to be on the screwing side.

Let’s put it this way. If a woman goes out with a guy she doesn’t know very well and she allows herself, as a free person’ to go home with him and then he overpowers her and rapes her, that doesn’t mean she has the ‘freedom to be raped’. The rapist is wrong regardless.

Morality is not what you make of it. Reality does have meaning. You can’t just make shit up and pretend it’s going to fly. If part of your business model is to screw your customers, don’t expect your customers to like you much when they find out. The beauty of the free market is that it punishes the truly bad and rewards the truly good as a natural system.

Unfortunately, the ‘bailout’ recently by the Feds is another example of how the GOP has failed to live up to conservative market standards.


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