July 29, 2005

Citigroup Liberals

Oh yeah, the post below reminds me of something a colleague and I were chatting about the other day. It seems to me that one of the reasons Democrats, especially so-called "New Democrats," have been snuggling ever-closer to the financial industry over the past decade might be, in part, because it's one of the few corporate sectors that doesn't conflict in an obvious way with any other major liberal interest group. Democrats have to get corporate donations from somewhere, after all, and the finance industry, happily, doesn't usually clash with labor unions. It's not part of the military-industrial complex. It doesn't pillage the environment. It screws over ordinary voters in opaque and non-obvious ways. What's not to like? Indeed, it's a pretty natural ally for a party in dire need of campaign cash.

The downside is that any party that jumps in bed with the financial sector is often going to end up backing the sorts of anti-progressive measures—from the recent bankruptcy bill, to financial deregulation, to inflation targeting by the Fed—that all strike me as far more malignant than, say, an energy company donating to Tom DeLay in exchange for the right to pollute or pour MTBE into our drinking water or whatever. In some ways, I'd feel better if, say, Hillary Clinton was getting her money from ExxonMobil and Halliburton, rather than Citigroup and MetLife. (Okay, probably not, but you get my point...)
-- Brad Plumer 8:24 PM || ||