Level the Playing Field

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TPM Reader JL:

Hi, I’m a big fan of TPM, have never commented before but I’ve got a financial background and have grown really frustrated about the way the Democrats — the Obama campaign in particular — have not driven home their fundamental differences on how they view the role and operation of the financial markets, and how, at this point, implementation of one point of view over another is becoming the difference between the U.S. sliding downward into 2nd-world economic status or the dollar and U.S. financial markets maintaining their leading role around the world.

One metaphor the Democrats don’t use, that I think of over and over when I hear Obama speak about the need for regulation: the markets operate like team sports — like say, a football game. Team sports don’t operate well without referees, and that’s exactly what’s happened under the Republicans.

They can blame Clinton all they want — the fact is, the Republicans under leadership of such brain trusts as Phil Gramm have methodically removed the referees from the games, and look what’s happened. One of the primary reasons investors shy away from putting money into third world countries is an ABSENCE OF REGULATION.

Why doesn’t Obama encapsulate his ideas in this way? Democrats believe in free markets, but free markets need rules and referees, just like a football game does, otherwise chaos and destruction.

Late Update: Is Sen Jon Tester (D-MT) a TPM reader? Here he is this afternoon on MSNBC, using the football analogy:

(Thanks to TPM Reader RE for the catch.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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