The End of Capitalism?

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What may become the government's biggest intervention into American business is being engineered by an administration that has championed a hands-off approach to the economy. But President Bush says the government needs to rescue the economy by buying up the bad debts of banks, Wall Street brokerages and other financial players. Congress had been planning to go home next week to campaign for re-election, but leaders of both parties have agreed to take up the bailout proposal as soon as this weekend.  Time magazine calls it "the mother of all bailouts," and stock markets around the world jumped at the prospect of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. But a lot of questions remain. Will it reward those who made bad investments?  Will it protect home ownership, retirement plans and personal savings? Where will the money come from? Will it tie the hands of government for years to come? Will Congress go along? What does intervention so massive mean for free-market capitalism?




Warren Olney