From the Left



The Banks, St. Patrick and the Deregulation Shuffle

Marc Munroe Dion on

If you're 25 and you throw a party, you get up the next afternoon, and you have to pick up all the half-empty beer bottles in the living room, and there's a broken widow, and you have to wake up the girl who's asleep in the bathtub. The whole thing probably costs you $400, and that includes replacing the window and cab fare for the girl in the bathtub.

If you're a 60-year-old banker, and you throw a party, you get up the next day, and you spent all the reserves on crypto, and old people can't get at their savings, and Barney Frank is asleep in the bathtub.

A lot of people are making much of the fact that former Massachusetts State Rep. Frank was on the board of directors of Silicon Valley Bank, the first of two banks to fail this last week.

I'm not surprised at all. I live in a part of Massachusetts once represented by Barney Frank, and I covered him as a reporter. Frank can't be bribed, but he can be bought, which are two hugely different things. One involves an envelope full of illegal cash, while the other involves a gentle nudge toward a job you don't deserve. The first is illegal. The second is merely repulsive.

Deregulation is the biggest Reagan-esque piece of policy junk ever sold to the American people.

The sales pitch is always the same.


"Deregulation creates competition, and that leads to better service and lower prices," the pitch goes. "Deregulation will let business people run their own businesses instead of spending all their time dealing with crippling regulations."

I am an electric company customer because I have to be. In that industry, deregulation meant that electricity in my part of the country has been provided by three different companies in the last 20 years, and the price has only gone up, while the service varies from indifferent to insulting.

What deregulation does is allow the people at the top to start throwing parties with someone else's money.


To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion, and read features by Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Dion's latest book, a collection of his best columns, is called "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America." It is available in paperback from, and for Nook, Kindle, and iBooks.




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