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Government right to intervene in economic matters

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Author 7117
Message P. A. Triot
Neoconservative, by any name, means only one thing: laissez faire capitalism. Free market capitalism is the newest name for laissez faire capitalism. Laissez faire capitalism was first introduced to the world in the 18th century by Adam Smith who wrote "Wealth of Nations." Smith is regarded as the "father of modern economics." The term "free market" was mentioned by Smith in his book as a condition of laissez faire capitalism.

The late Milton Friedman piggy-backed on Smith's concepts by sort of tweaking the lexicon and advocating free market capitalism all the way to a Nobel prize in economics (awarded in 1976).

The concept of free markets is in sharp contrast with controlled markets or regulated markets, in which governments regulate prices or supplies--either directly or indirectly. What's left is that laissez faire capitalism and free market capitalism are synonymous terms. All of this is simply economic theory, not fact at all.

This week I saw George W. Bush on television say, "Normally, I'm a strong supporter of free markets" but, because of the recent economic meltdown of the U. S. and world economies, he is desperately grasping at government regulation to remedy the situation.

Here is a fact, not a theory: the United States government is the biggest single economic entity in the entire world by any measure, which means that, collectively, the citizens of the United States hold that distinction. The term, "full faith and credit of the United States of America" is the gold standard of the world economy. Given that the U. S. government is the biggest single economic entity on Earth, why shouldn't this country act in its own best interests in economic affairs?

You see the theory of laissez faire or free market capitalism has never worked anywhere in all of history.

Regulated markets have worked and resulted in widespread prosperity, with some relatively minor recessions. It's not perfect but, with apologies to Sir Winston Churchill, regulated markets are "the worst form of economic systems, except all others."

In America, laissez faire, free market capitalism has been seriously tried twice--once at the beginning of the 20th century and again in the latter part of that century.Beginning in about 1900 and continuing through the 1920s the country ran wild with laissez faire capitalism. The excesses of the practice of laissez faire capitalism resulted in a worldwide calamity, the Great Depression of the 1930s. Laissez faire was arguably also the cause of two world wars. Then free market capitalism was introduced with the election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980. Free market ideas have dominated the conversation about economic matters since then and ultimately resulted in the economic collapse the world (and our country in particular) is now experiencing.

I contend that a president who is a "supporter of free markets" is guilty of malfeasance of office. That person is not representing the best interests of the United States in world economic matters--not minding the store, so to speak.I'm not going on a rant for impeachment, but I do think that anyone who advocates free market or laissez faire system does not qualify to hold federal office. Such a person is in direct opposition to doing what is right for the United States and its citizens.

From the outset of any enterprise, U. S. officials ought to be in there scrapping with all the economic players in the world doing what's in the interest of our citizens--not corporations or special interests of any kind, simply the citizenry of the country. Not to do so is shirking their duties and is tantamount to treason.

This means that investment vehicles such as hedge funds, or any other trading device conjured up by Wall Street that might affect the economic interests of the citizens of the country, should be regulated by the U.S. government or not be marketed in this country.

What we should learn from all of this is that "We the people" should never trust these con artists by whatever name they call themselves. When some man or woman suggests we should operate in a "free market," smile politely and dismiss them out of hand. They don't have the people's interests at heart.

It's simple. Just say, "Been there, done that. No thanks."

Stick with the fair playing field that a regulated market provides. That means its fair for them and fair for the people.

© Copyright 2008 by P. A. Triot. Reproduce and distribute at will, with proper attribution.


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P. A. Triot is the pen name of a retired journalist.
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