On Thursday, John Amato of Crooks and Liars interviewed Naomi Klein, author of the critically-acclaimed book The Shock Doctrine. Klein and Amato spoke about the proposed $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill and its potential political implications.
Klein’s basic thesis, as articulated in her book, is that economic conservatives (particularly those who subscribe to Milton Friedman’s theories) often use the shock of a disaster to implement free market “shock therapy,” which typically involves massive deregulation, large-scale privatization of government services (benefiting the wealthy at the expense of the middle class), and the elimination of social programs.
The interview runs a little less than 20 minutes, and though the audio is a little scratchy, it’s still worth hearing in its entireity.
I wonder what Klein thinks about McCain’s statement that the government should consider a “spending freeze” (except for defense and veterans), because it certainly seems to fit nicely into the framework she sets up.
It’s also noteworthy, as Klein points out, that Obama’s healthcare plan (which has often been described by conservatives as exorbitantly expensive and maligned as “socialism”) would cost just as much as our unilateral and immediate bailout of the insurance giant AIG: $85 billion. Throughout my entire life, I’ve heard conservatives mock the notion of universal healthcare, often casting the idea as unrealistically expensive and burdensome. And yet, last week, without any debate or real discussion, taxpayers provided a private company $85 billion.