A mantra I've stressed in this blog is that the First Commandment calls us to face the facts, to live in the real world wrought by the Creator and not in some fantasy land of our own making.
One of the facts that must be faced is that people just don't always do what they're "supposed" to do. Perhaps as a side effect of natural selection, we can be relentlessly single-minded in our pursuit of what we want, to the point of inflicting harm on ourselves and others. This relentlessness can be seen in all areas of life, not least in some of the upper reaches of the business world.
Apropos of that, recently The Christian Century's editors nicely summed up why my politics have become a bit more liberal and a bit less laissez-faire than they used to be:
Tea Party's strange brew, The Christian Century, July 13, 2010, p. 7 (emphasis and extra paraagraphing added).
The Tea Party movement represents an effort to undo the 20th-century consensus of corporate liberalism, according to which Big Government is the necessary counterweight to Big Business, an arrangement that has offered a modicum of protection to the public while maintaining a stable political and economic environment for business.
Individual resistance to Big Anything is understandable. But in directing their libertarian passions at government alone, Tea Party activists fail to grasp the complexities and scale of modern life.
None of the major political challenges of our time—health care, environmental dangers, social security, the globalization of the economy and the immense power of banks and companies that become "too big to fail"—is addressed by the Tea Party's antitax, antigovernment ideology.