A Letter to The Wall Street Journal,
"Wisdom of a Non-Idiot Billionaire"

about a column by Peggy Noonan,
May 12-13, 2018, page A13

"Letters to the Editor"
The Wall Street Journal

Dear Sirs:

Peggy Noonan’s reference to “capitalism’s scandals” as including “the 2008 crash,” displays a mistake often made by defenders of capitalism, which is to accept the narrative of their enemies. Thus, “the 2008 crash” was not a scandal of capitalism. It was a scandal of government. The leftist narrative now is that banks were forcing unqualified people to accept loans they could not repay, when in fact the banks were being threatened and forced by the government to make loans to these unqualified people.

This was evident at the time, since the threats to banks for not making loans to the poor and minorities was done quite publicly, and anyone voicing warnings about the problems with “sub-prime” loans were denounced as racists, enemies of the poor, etc. Republicans, who actually controlled Congress and the Presidency, were thoroughly intimidated and fell silent. Then afterwards we had the remarkable spectacle of Barney Frank denying he had given assurances about the situation, which he sometimes had just been shown on video actually giving. In short order Jerry Brown was denouncing “predatory lending,” which previously I don’t think anyone had ever heard of outside of loan sharking. Now, blaming the banks for the mortgage collapse is a well-established “fact” in the media, movies, talk shows, etc.

If Peggy Noonan is worried about the young getting the wrong idea about our economic system, she must learn to avoid insensibly promoting “fake news” about it.

Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.

Political Economy


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