The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Who saved the miners?

Posted by That Other Mike on 26/10/2010

In the aftermath of the near-disaster in a Chilean mine, it has been bruited about by more than a few wingnuts that this is somehow a victory for capitalism, and free markets, and American exceptionalism, and the ghost of Ronald RayGun or something, with the most heinous cheerleader being as usual the WSJ editorial page.

In short, they’re claiming it as some kind of vicarious victory for their politics. Stupid is as stupid does, but, whatever. It’s not that I mind wingnuts being stupid—I’ve become rather inured to it now—but that viewpoint is just flat out wrong.

Governments saved the Chilean miners. Those same governments that those same wingnuts spend all their time screeching and pearl-clutching about were the real reason that those miners made it out alive.

As detailed here, here, and here, without the actions of government acting where private industry couldn’t or wouldn’t, those Chileans would be dead by now.

And more to the point, without the horrific record of the private company running the mine and with adequate and appropriate government regulation, the services of the capitalist wonderboys wouldn’t have been needed in the first place.

That’s the real underlying issue, though—wingnuts refuse to believe that governments can do any good, not that it can but won’t—and it gets disproved time and again. You know why? Because it is a fundamentally stupid and ignorant point of view, and we all need to start saying it a little louder, just so that in ten years time, these idiots aren’t dominating the political narrative as they have been for over a decade.

Oh, and one final thing: all of the blogs linked to in the opening paragraph were found after I wrote the list of wonderful capitalistic things. That’s right, kids: they are that predictable.

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