Sunday, April 13, 2008

McCain's inner T.R.

In a thoughtful article, Irwin Stelzer advises John McCain to "Embrace Your Inner Teddy Roosevelt." Excerpt:
TR recognized that "a fortune accumulated in legitimate business .  .  . confer[s] immense incidental benefits on others. .  .  . The captains of industry .  .  . have on the whole done great good to our people. .  .  . The mechanism of modern business is so delicate that extreme care must be taken not to interfere with it in a spirit of rashness or ignorance." Roosevelt nevertheless contended that business entities that are granted the privilege and protection of corporate status must be regulated--"subject to proper governmental supervision" lest these businesses commit "real and grave evils."
Following in T.R.'s footsteps means using government, when circumstances warrant, to increase market competition and address clearcut market failures. It also means shrugging off the complaints that this amounts to "liberal fascism."

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