Clark Howard

…yes, Clark Howard.

He is the perfect example of the cognitive dissonance emanating from the right 24/7/365.

Mr. Howard has a radio show and a TV show where he tells people how to “save money and not get ripped off.” That sounds straightforward, right? No politics, no left, no right. He’s a smart man who really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to almost anything related to money: credit ratings, loans, defaults, mortgages, traveling…you name it, and Clark Howard can opine knowledgeably on the subject.

I used to listen to Mr. Howard’s radio show on my drive home from work, and the thing of it is, I started noticing a pattern that played out on Mr. Howard’s show over and over and over again. First, a subject would come up about taxes, or other ways to conserve assets (as in money). Mr. Howard would hold forth expertly on the topic to the caller, who would thank Mr. Howard fervently and hang up. And then, Mr. Howard would rail on about the government, over-regulation, stifling growth and other capitalist memes – you know, the same crap we hear every day.

And that’s when it happens. The cognitive dissonance, you know? I can understand being a greedy capitalist who wants to dismantle every regulatory agency on the planet, remove consumer and environmental protections, etc. But both? A greedy capitalist AND a consumer crusader? I can’t wrap my head around it. (As an aside, once again, I found myself yelling at the radio in traffic and people were looking at me strangely.)

So let me set this up for you. A caller gets on the line and tells Mr. Howard a story about how he or she got ripped off by an unscrupulous and nefarious and sneaky mortgage lender/credit card company/insurance company/*insert villain here*. And oh, here’s when Clark winds up! He huffs and he puffs and he works up a real head of steam and lets it rip, “Oh, they should NOT be allowed to do that! The government needs to step in and protect consumers!!”

What? Waitaminnit!! Did you see that coming?

So, Clark Howard is the laissez-faire capitalist who is against evil government regulation railing about how the evil government should step in and save consumers from the evil laissez-faire capitalists??

Oh… I have a headache.

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