Our economic system is supposed to be based on the principle that people must live with the consequences of their decisions, which tends to make them more careful deciders. “We’ve made a hash of all that,” writes David Brooks of the New York Times. We’ve had bailouts that reward foolish bankers, incompetent automakers, and now people who bought homes they couldn’t afford. And the worst part? It's the right thing to do.
An economic landscape is like a marriage. When it’s time to save it, sometimes you can’t focus on who did what. "We all know people who have been laid off through no fault of their own," he writes. "The responsible have been punished along with the profligate.” So if the government wants to stabilize the economy, it has to spend money on the sectors wobbling the worst. “It has to stabilize people who have been idiots.”