On March 4, former Sen. and now CEO of the Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint stated on National Public Radio that “it is time to turn this country around” and “our federal government is causing more problems than it is solving.” His lugubrious tone reminded me of Adam Gopnik’s description of American conservatives in the New Yorker magazine as “the most privileged caste in the most powerful country in the most prosperous epoch in the whole history of humankind (who are) always sure that everything is going straight to hell and has mostly already got there.”
This pessimistic view is shared by many South Carolinians. Consider, for example, criticism of the government’s bailout of General Motors and Chrysler Corporation.
The respected Center for Automotive Research projected that the collapse of these two companies would have resulted in 674,000 lost jobs with nearly $50 billion in lost personal income; given the many jobs dependent on the auto industry, 4 million jobs would have been lost over two years without the bailout.
These loans have been repaid with interest. The American automobile market is healthier than it has been in decades.
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Recently tightened banking and mortgage lending practices — viewed by some as “bureaucratic red tape” — have stabilized our economy, stimulated the stock market and restored confidence for investors. Enlightened government policies can and often do benefit our society.
Mr. DeMint and those who wallow in the belief that this is a terrible time to live in America need to study their world history and the history of our country.
Joel W. Collins Jr.