The basic principle of underlying free market economics, I take it, is the view that when there is free competition businesses will have to behave in ways that benefit the general public. The reason why this must be so is that every business operates under the threat of failure.
But what happens when so much of our economic infrastucture depends upon the success of particular businesses? Two solutions are:
1) Businesses too big to fail must be bailed out by government to prevent infrastructure damage
or better yet
2) Businesses must be prevented by government from becoming too big to fail.
But these two solutions are socialistic in nature. The first of these measures, which was taken under the Bush administration, strikes me as a much larger step in the direction of socialism than Obama's public option.
Free market philosophy, it seems to me, requires this:
3) There is no such thing as a business to big to fail. If they go belly-up, let them go belly-up. Somehow, neither party was willing to accept this. Which suggests to me that we have to start looking for conservatives with a lantern, at least in Washington.