Many thanks to the editor of the News & Citizen, our Morrisville, VT-based free weekly newspaper, for publishing my letter in response to an op-ed that ran in their paper. Below is my letter, and below that, the op-ed to which I responded.
The memo that inspired the op-ed, and my subsequent reply, can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/modernizing-regulatory-review/
In response to “Capitalism’s day as dominant measure of social success is over,” A View From the Hill, Feb. 4, 2021, I’m afraid I don’t share Tamara Burke’s optimism about how modernizing regulatory review will put an end to capitalism — much less prove to be a boon to the common man.
Firstly, the memo itself, as quoted in Burke’s piece, lists economic growth as one of its priorities. How does one read this and infer that the capitalist model of endless economic growth — that Burke so rightfully critiques — will be challenged?
Secondly, to expect the industries responsible for polluting our planet, poisoning our bodies and guzzling our tax dollars to suddenly change course because of a memo that sports flowery language like “the interests of future generations” strikes me as hopelessly naive.
Regulatory agencies form a series of revolving doors with the most lucrative posts in the industries they are tasked with policing. Do we believe that suddenly, thanks to this document, they shall take up the cause of the common man?
While we may indeed be witnessing the end of capitalism as we know it, what rises in its stead is a shiny new brand of fascism, wherein the final vestiges of the free market are cast aside along with our privacy and civil liberties — anachronisms no longer viable in the new age of global pandemics and racial justice.