By Ben Cohen
According to a recent poll, most people feel former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is responsible for the economic crisis. Bush came in second, while Gordon Brown third.
It is easy to blame individuals, and Greenspan certainly should shoulder a lot of the blame. But the truth is that the crisis goes WAY back to the Reagan and Clinton administrations that started and perpetuated the deregulation frenzy that gave the financial sector unlimited freedom, and laid the groundwork for the catastrophe we're in now. The media, business community and political classes are also to blame. They swallowed the popular mantra without bothering to see if it was working for everyone, and failed to foster substantive debate on alternatives.
Alan Greenspan was certainly the sage of neo liberal economics - a Milton Friedman disciple who rose to the top because of his popularity with the business community. Heralded as a genius, Greenspan turned out to be not quite as smart as we thought. He is the poster child for everything that is wrong with our economic system, but not the sole cause. The problem is far greater than that.