In Jim Cook's Archive


The far left union boss Andy Stern now a senior fellow at Columbia University wrote in the Wall Street Journal of the need to abandon belief in a free market “The free market fundamentalist economic model is being thrown onto the scrap heap of history.”  Marx and Lenin couldn’t have put it better.

Naive socialist that he is Mr. Stern advises, “America needs to embrace a plan for growth and innovation, with a streamlined government as a partner with the private sectors.” We already have government as a partner.  They take 40% of everything we earn.

“Streamlined government,” is the ultimate oxymoron.  There never has been such an animal.  How do you streamline a government that kills a Midwest pipeline project and drilling in Ohio and the gulf that costs thousands of new jobs?

A business measures results through profit or loss. Government has no such objective standard.  With no bottom line there is no incentive for cost cutting or sound financial management.  Government officials measure results by how much money they spend.  Attempts to cut waste and make the bureaucracy more efficient are futile.  Government cannot be streamlined.  Despite the promise of every new president in the last 100 years to make government work more efficiently it has become an out of control gargantua spending us into oblivion and intervening more clumsily than ever.

The economic failures that Mr. Stern rails against are not failures of free market capitalism.  They are failures brought about by government intrusion into the market.  Just one example will serve.  For centuries the market determined what money was (gold and silver).  Now it’s the government’s money and that currency has lost 98% of its purchasing power in my lifetime.  This accounts for the destruction of our national savings and a diminishing middle class.  Yet socialists like Mr. Stern can only think of printing more.

No one person or political clique knows better than the market.  The people (as consumers) are the rulers of the market.  They determine through their purchases what products and services will be successful.  It’s not the corporations who have the power.  The consumers are sovereign.  They are the kings and queens of the market.  They determine profit or loss, who succeeds and who fails.  Government interference with that process overturns basic freedoms.

Mr. Stern’s formula for American success is instead the blueprint for national ruin.  That so many Americans have bought into this deeply flawed case against free market capitalism is a national tragedy.  Over one hundred years ago America’s economy experienced a long period of phenomenal growth.  It was a time of low taxes, limited government, minimal regulation and no unions.  Per capita income, life expectancy and living standards soared.  The free market unleashed its blessings.  If you want proof as to whether the market economy delivers the goods you need only look around you.
(This letter was sent to the Wall Street Journal.)

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