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Jim Cook

 

RUNAWAY SOCIAL SYMPATHY

Every once in a while I switch the TV channel from Fox to CNBC to see what the liberals are saying.  After listening awhile I get a deep sense of hopelessness and foreboding for our country.  The most important thing for the left is giving money to people.  They are happy to see the growth of food stamps, disability payments, housing subsidies, free healthcare and all the other welfare benefits.  They utterly fail to see the damage it is doing to the recipients.  Whole cities that once flourished have deteriorated into rotting eyesores populated with shambling hulks of chemically dependent drones.  These people are no longer employable.  They have become incompetent and helpless and the liberals can’t see that it’s their doing.

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The Best of Jim Cook Archive

 
Best of Aubie Baltin
May 6, 2009
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THE REAL ENEMIES OF CAPITALISM

 The Enemies of Capitalism are not the Socialists, Marxists or Communists because everyone knows who they are and what they stand for. I think it was Capone who said "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." The real ENEMIES are the New Rule Neo-mercantilists, Neoconservatives (Neo-Cons), who should be charged with FRAUD if they call themselves "free market capitalists." People such as Bush, Paulson, Greenspan, Bernanke and Ben Stein are the primary threat capitalism faces. All of these compassionate Conservatives are the false prophets of capitalism. They are Harvard or Ivy League graduates who are so steeped in Keynesian Economics that they don’t know what capitalism is and end up being the greatest allies the Socialists could possibly have.

Many prominent American figures such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates claim to believe in free markets, but in practice they are Socialist Democrats who advocate for higher taxes, neo-mercantilism Corporate Bigness (monopolies, oligopolies), government central planning and control. These policies always lead to inefficiencies and disastrous economic and social consequences due to the inability to foresee all of the "Unintended Consequences." Congress investigates everybody and everything, always with a political bent and puts people in jail for lying even if they had committed no crimes. But nobody investigates Congress who does not have to live under the same laws as the rest of us - especially the one against lying. The resulting economic and social catastrophes are then blamed on capitalism, free markets, and deregulation when, in actual fact, the fault lies with big government interference in the free market economy. At this point, Socialists are easily able to convince the distraught public that capitalism is a failed experiment and only continued massive government intervention can save them. Such is the way that capitalism dies, eaten away by a cancer from within. Would you believe that Greenspan was a disciple of Ayn Rand and a staunch proponent of the Gold Standard?

Déjà vu All Over Again

It happened in the 30’s when a massive intrusion by government, managed to turn what should have been no more than a 3 year Recession (such as 1918 to 1920) into one that lasted 17 years. We are now in the process of repeating with pride the exact same follies of The New Deal.

The real mystery is not that some of the loudest proponents of free markets often institute policies that are antithetical to free markets, but that the general public, as well as our learned scholars, rarely challenge these claims. In general, the public simply accepts that if a person claims to believe in capitalism and private-property rights, then they are truly capitalists. In truth, most politicians who claim to be champions of free-market principles are anything but.

George W. Bush, for example, claimed to believe in free markets, but in practice he created the largest increase in entitlements (Prescription Drugs) in history and expanded the corporate-welfare system throughout his entire administration. It was towards the end of his second term that he did the most damage. Under Bush's watch, the financial and auto sectors have been the recipients of trillions of dollars, leading to the government running our banks, insurance and auto industries, on a scale never before seen in American history. In an interview on CNN, Bush stated, "I've abandoned free-market principles in order to save the free-market system." Only in the minds of Neo-cons and Keynesians can this claim seem to have merit.

As Obama prepared to attend the G-20 summit, he vowed to defend the free market against calls for global regulation. Yet he also stated, "I'm a market-oriented guy, but not when I'm faced with the prospect of a global meltdown."

Is there no one of influence or power out there who realizes that only Capitalism can create wealth, raise the world’s standard of living and get us out of our malaise? Even a cursory examination of history will tell you that: Oh I forgot, it has to be an honest not a politically correct examination of history.

When the nation's most visible proponents of Capitalism claim that they have abandoned it because, without big-government policies, Capitalism itself would be destroyed, and when Ben Stein, a self proclaimed and renowned Conservative Capitalist Economist, calls for higher taxes and more government involvement, there remains little work for Socialists to do but to sit back and let it all happen.

For those who don’t understand economics and believe Bush is really a true Conservative Capitalist, they are easily persuaded to accept the propaganda that the free market has failed and that government must come to the rescue.

Now consider another "free marketer," Ben Bernanke. Surely he, of all people, is a true Capitalist. The Federal Reserve System is little more than a central-planning organization created to carry out the ever increasing power hungry desires of the government to effect social policy under the cover of an independent FED and more importantly, to enrich it owners, the Big Banks. If central planning the price of oil, corn and other goods and services is in violation of capitalist principles, then how can centrally planning interest rates and the amount of money in circulation be considered part of the free market? Bernanke's actions during the "crisis" is in direct opposition to free market principles as he, along with Paulson, used the ensuing panic to demand powers never before granted to the Fed: Brokering (and funding) mergers and nationalizing banks. Yet even before the "crisis," Socialists were holding Bernanke up as the apotheosis of capitalist ideals.

Hank Paulson distinguished himself at both Dartmouth and Harvard. He briefly worked in the Nixon (we are all Keynesians now) Administration before climbing to the top of Goldman Sachs. But don’t confuse being an accomplished executive with being a capitalist: Usually quite the contrary. What they all understand is the use of centralized power to enrich themselves. During the economic "crisis," Paulson consistently used the powers of his position as Treasury Secretary to save big business, especially his ex-company, Goldman Sachs (in which he still held a $billion interest in a blind trust) from the consequences of their poor decisions and to save friendly institutions. He then used fear to force Congress into granting him unprecedented powers. Language for the $700 billion bailout protects him from, "Decisions pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." That’s better than being a Russian Czar! Paulson and Bernanke, orchestrated the largest government intervention in capital markets in history — can anyone, even vaguely familiar with the tenets of capitalism, believe their professions of faith in free markets?

Anyone who understands capitalist theory has an obligation to refute the claims made by those who falsely profess free market principles and they must be confronted at every opportunity. We must not become subject to the bystander effect and rely on someone else to take up the fight. We must all challenge the false claims, for the enemies of free market principles are many and vocal and the consequences will be disastrous.