First published April 15, 2012
Fans of Saul Alinsky, the theoretician of the Chicago School of left-wing ideology, are familiar with this radical slogan: There Is Only The Fight. Hillary Clinton used it to write a loving tribute to Alinsky’s RULES FOR RADICALS in her 1969 Wellesley College degree thesis, and Obama enthusiastically taught these disturbing concepts to his band of community organizers. And there you have the inspiration for the continuing demonization by the Left of its ideological opposition. For various reasons, many politicians, college instructors and even corporate CEOs have been misrepresenting if not villifying the basic tenets of the ideal of free-market capitalism, the only one of the theories on political economies that has ever produced wealth for its true adherents. What better way to discredit a theory than to enact anti-free-market policies (bailouts, green loans, circumventing bankruptcy laws for favored companies…) then blame their failures on capitalism? Free-market capitalism requires three fundamentals: freedom to own property, free and fair competition, and the rule of law. Unfortunately, the Federal Government since at least FDR has been diminishing those very principles: eminent domain threatens property rights, competition is thwarted by government mandates, by redistributive interference and favoritism, and laws selectively applied and misapplied.
The general villification of the powerful notion of competition is reflected in the recent “dueling” articles in this newspaper about competition in our two hospitals . FINLEY HOSPITAL management wants to compete better with MERCY HOSPITAL through its own catheterization lab, but MERCY’s anti-competitive posture may keep this local monopoly going with the expert help of presumed socially-responsible bureaucrats sitting in Des Moines, nobly wishing not to “waste money on duplicative services”. Economics is obviously the most neglected and misunderstood subject in this ‘capitalist’ nation. Occasionally the light shines through and even students could figure out, for example, that to justify the purchase of President Obama’s ideologically-favored car, i.e. GM’s all-electric VOLT, the price of gasoline would have to be $12… and President Obama will make sure the price of gasoline “will necessarily skyrocket” to eventually mandate the purchase of that kind of vehicle. No wonder the favorability gap between capitalism and socialism among college undergrads is closing (PEW RESEARCH). Even Republican candidates for president are having difficulty articulating the absolute benefits of free markets. Wishing to sound “popular”, they participate in the corruption of the free market notion, and are basically endorsing “crony capitalism”, the lifeblood of socialist and communist states. The growth of the IRS code from 1.4 million words in 1965 to today’s 9.1 million words (Tax Foundation) should be ample proof of rampant cronyism (a.k.a. corporate welfare) and wealth re-distribution (a.k.a main street welfare), greatly accelerating under Obama. He keeps mentioning fairness, but the slobberingly admiring popular press never asks for a definition. Perhaps fairness depends on your ideology: the top 10% of wage earners already paying 70% of all federal income taxes is implied to be unfair. But the bottom 47% paying zero tax or receiving welfare checks is perfectly fair. Did we vote for representation without taxation? If you like John Maynard Keynes, the friend of “progressive” US presidents from both parties, you owe it to your sanity to read the Austrian School (Ludwig von Mises, F. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom…) as well. Lacking persuasive argumentation, the forces of the Command Economy can only resort to the vilification of the very foundation of these United States, as if the enemy were free-market capitalism which after all built the most prosperous nation in the history of mankind for the greatest number of its citizens.
Published in the Telegraph Herald (April 15) and the Galena Gazette in April 2012