Editorial: Regulation anyone? (Bennington Banner)

Do we all get it yet? Is everyone onboard concerning government regulation? We doubt it, but, as Scarlett O'Hara said, "Tomorrow is another day." That day now is here for the financial sector.

What Wall Street and the federal government need to grasp today, tomorrow and the next day is that it is time to say goodbye to the nutty notion of a philosophical bias against all regulation. Likewise, it is past time to lose faith in the "miracle of the marketplace," a major factor in the current meltdown.

Beyond that, those driving forces have been behind every economic meltdown in human history, but the trust the marketplace insanity has been especially pervasive in too many in Washington since the 1980s. Either that has to come to an end or these people have to be sent packing.

Which is not to say that regulation is inherently good — or evil, for that matter — but that it is as good as those applying it and those writing the regulations. It also is as necessary as baseball umpires, football officials and basketball refs, if we want to avoid the inevitable chaos following binges of unbridled greed.

Such as what commands center stage today — all of which was completely avoidable if anyone in authority had stepped up.

In the future, it can only be hoped that questions of regulation will be decided based on rational thought and debate, not rigid philosophy. Does regulation work as it should? Is it fair? Is it being applied evenly? Has it tipped in favor of one group or another? This isn't rocket science, not even eighth grade math.

In fact, we are talking Economics 101 and Government 101. The recent grade-point average in Washington being 0.0.