Vermont’s Rutland Herald is at it again. In a recent editorial regarding the Obama bank bailouts, the dogmatically pro-government rag had this to say:
“There are still philosophical differences about how to manage the economy. A recent article in The New Yorker explored the thinking of University of Chicago economists who have been influential in promoting the laissez-faire policies that led to the collapse.
“The Chicago School economists appear to be willing to justify everything that happens in the economy as a natural function of the market. Thus, a market collapse is a necessary correction.
“This point of view divorces the economy from human values. If we believe everything in the economy is justified because it is an inevitable outcome of economic laws, then we wash our hands of responsibility for any human consequences.”
I scarcely know where to begin in refuting this hypocritical and woefully undereducated diatribe, but I’ll just dig in someplace. Washing one’s hands of responsibility for any human consequences could not be better exemplified than to ignore entirely that America’s – and the world’s – current economic woes are in no small part due to governmental interventionisms in, and artificial distortions of, the laissez-faire free market. Further, no mention is ever made that, since governments exist in the first place, laissez-faire capitalism is impossible. Governments must, like parasites, find a productive economic host to tax and leech dry in order to survive. Otherwise, left bare to true market forces, they would wither and die in a day. No one would voluntarily support the poison they offer.
We hear from the statist government supporters like a religious mantra that the free market is bad, unreliable, effected too easily by greed, and socially irresponsible. Yet all of these things characterize government to a tee.
The Rutland Herald rant continues:
“The economy is a product of human choices, and insofar as we have power to affect [sic] those choices, it is better to direct the economy in ways that serve the people. Letting bankers run wild does not serve the people, and we need not be shy about standing up to bankers who issue blackmail threats, telling us that to touch their profits would hurt the economy.”
This too, is utterly naive, and doesn’t address the root of the problem. Sure, handing tax dollars to banking CEOs is beyond outrageous, but it also would never happen in a private, decentralized banking system with zero political government. Currently, the Federal Reserve calls the Pols’ shots in Washington. True, there’s Ron Paul and an occasional half-hearted dissenter who’ll temporarily side with him to look like they’re saving face, but in the end we all know what JFK did – and what happened to him as a result. He didn’t think he needed to be “shy” either. The writer of this editorial, such as it is, could stand to ingest a little realpolitik.
In short, the bailouts are ugly – but so is the deliberate establishmentarianism aimed at discrediting free markets in favor of governmental interference. Without government, we’d have a sound universal medium of exchange (real money), no taxation, no inflation (a hidden tax), and a vast array of goods and services available to all on a voluntary, contractual basis – not one grounded in coercive violence and dictatorial bureaucrats. It’s time what Ludwig von Mises termed “The Anti-Capitalist Mentality” be exposed for what it is, and completely discredited, to the ultimate good of all.