Pat Buchanan (The American Conservative, October 6, 2008) also finds a blur where this divide should be:
"'Government must save us!' cries the Left, as ever. Yet who got us into this mess if not the government -- the Fed with its easy money, Bush with his profligate spending, and Congress and the SEC by liberating Wall Street and failing to step in and stop the drunken orgy? [emphasis added] ...
"An unelected financial elite is now entrusted with the assignment of getting us out of a disaster into which an unelected financial elite plunged the nation. [emphasis added] We are just spectators."
Whose responsibility is it to rein in Wall Street? If it is the state's, as Pat implies in the first paragraph, then our system is not free-market capitalism; thus we should hand even more authority over to the state to regulate economic decision-making. If it is Wall Street's responsibility, as he implies in the second paragraph, then why blame Congress for not doing Wall Street's job? These "elites" are a confusing concept, and therefore not a concept at all.
Pat's final paragraph, however, is clear as a bell and impossible to deny:
"What the Greatest Generation handed down to us -- the richest, most powerful, most self-sufficient republic in history, with the highest standard of living any nation had ever achieved -- the baby boomers, oblivious and self-indulgent to the end, have frittered away."