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Letter: Unregulated economy took us down the road to difficulties

I feel the need to respond to the Bob Lewis letter of Nov. 9 (“National individualism dies as Americans opt for dependence”). I’m sure there are many like Mr. Lewis who dream of returning this country to a pastoral Jeffersonian idyll, but let’s consider the historical results of an unregulated, free market economy: economic collapse once every generation, inefficient infrastructure, monopolies, robber barons.

We are no longer living in a predominantly rural society, and as much as you may dislike it, it takes some central planning and regulation to oversee and maintain a $12 trillion a year industrial economy and a mostly urban population of over a quarter of a billion people. (We are still reeling from the effects of an under regulated financial sector.)

The tea party’s vision for American looks, to me, like Guatemala in the 1970s, where a handful of families controlled most of the wealth and had no need for basic infrastructure (except a robust military), because they sent their children overseas for schooling and health care. Is this your dream for America?

— Thomas Crowley