Nationalization Is Not Scary, It's as 'American as Apple Pie'

Amidst the punditocracy's handwringing about the supposedly unprecedented possibility of nationalization in America, Paul Krugman this week reminded his New York Times readers that nationalization is "as American as apple pie."


He noted that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has been nationalizing about two banks per week, and that the best way to save our financial system is to temporarily nationalize it. But before we get scared about the prospect of nationalization (i.e. public/government ownership of major parts of the economy), let's remember: nationalization already pervades far more than the banking industry -- it's all around us.

For instance, about 45 million Americans rely on public power utilities for their electricity. Those utilities are nationalized -- that is, they are owned and operated by government (in this case, municipal governments).

Have you ever taken a subway, a commuter train like New Jersey Transit, a public bus or Amtrak? Have you ever sent a letter through the U.S. Postal Service? Then you've benefited from nationalized services -- in those cases, mass transit and mail.

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