Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Time to drop the pitchforks |

Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Time to drop the pitchforks

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado

Bernie Madoff was not a government employee.

Neither were the folks at AGI, Countrywide, Enron, GM or name your favorite failed business.

Shall we go ahead and declare private enterprise itself hopelessly corrupt and unworkable? After all, its sins far outweigh those of “socialized” government programs.

My point is not to defend “socialism” or take the pitchforks to


Pierce both if you must, but to do so is to miss the target. Bloated structure, inefficiency, lazy employees, crooked leaders, dumb decisions and all that are not the exclusive province of either


We know this. Well, I hope at least most of this know this.

And I’m sorry if this offends, but it’s just dumb for Democratic partisans to pretend this is all the fault of “big business” or Republicans to blame it all on “big government.”

I’m sure such rhetoric is terribly satisfying, but it’s all so much hot air, not remotely true, and keeps us from finding the best solutions to the sins of government and business.

I’m ready for the bubble of ideology to burst, for a partisan recession to sink in, for people to think outside their prescribed boxes, their party-approved positions. To grow up.

I like the “free” market for the efficiency it naturally enforces. Your mouse trap really has to be better in order to survive. Lesser contraptions will fail in the marketplace if they are too expensive for their value.

But free taken to feral goes too far, as we’ve seen historically. A marketplace stripped of all rules leads to the perils of another tyranny that abuses workers, cheats consumers and so on. Unions came into being to combat this, and of course, they have their problems, too.

A mix is required for society to benefit most. So far, the western democracies have worked the best. All, including the United States, blend “socialized” programs with regulated marketplaces. None are perfect, but they work better than the alternative.

I believe that government properly steps in only where private enterprise cannot handle the challenge. Too-big government is just as bad as too-big business. Therefore, the answers lie in balance, not way out there at the ideological poles.

As my friend Randy Wyrick likes to say, this is simple, just not very easy.

So yeah, I quickly grow weary with tired screeds against “socialism” as well as tarring “business” as all bad actors because we found a few rotten apples in each.

When do we start addressing real causes and practical solutions? When do we actually begin thinking?

Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at or 970-748-2920. He welcomes your comments.

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