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Oct 19, 2008

Newsweek; “Economic meltdown made possible by libertarian ideas.”

HT, Libertarian republican.

Libertarians are on the liberal shit list this year, and the term libertarian is being used as a swearword. Huffington Post sees Sarah Palin as “the new ideological heir to Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan, Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan and their "selfish," and "money-grabbing attitudes." …

“What's good for the country was irrelevant. It's Me First, the idea made popular by Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan, the Bush dynasty, Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, and the crowd of money-grubbing right wingnut media hacks in process of swinging enough to the center to keep working if the Hanoi Candidate and his Miss Wannabee Alaska go down as the mood of the country shifts away from selfishness.”
Boston Globe then slamed her for being a free market, pro-growth, anti-zoning "libertarian."
“Palin's property-rights agenda exploited a deep anger toward the expansion of local government, an attitude that had defined politics in the Matanuska Valley since its settlement 80 years earlier as a way station for gold miners heading north. She used opposition to land-use restrictions to tap that vein of frontier libertarianism and a conspicuous display of her social views to connect with the new middle-class families who had suburbanized the valley in the 1980s.”
Now Newsweek have an article, “The Libertarians’ Lament,”- “Their heroic view of capitalism makes it difficult for them to accept that financial systems without vigorous government oversight constitute a recipe for disaster.”

In 2006, the liberal media made an effort to reach out to libertarians to help the Democrats win control of Congress. Daily Kos had weekly articles imploring libertarians to overthrow Republican rule. Newsweek and leading newspapers, ran editorials on "Why libertarians should vote Democrat this year."

Now it appears they have given up on using us as useful idiots and want us ‘under the bus.’
“A source of mild entertainment amid the financial carnage has been watching libertarians scurry to explain how the financial crisis is the result of too much government intervention, not too little. One line of argument casts as villain the Community Reinvestment Act, which prevents banks from "redlining" minority neighborhoods as not creditworthy. Another theory blames Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for subsidizing and securitizing mortgages with an implicit government guarantee. An alternate thesis is that past bailouts encouraged investors to behave recklessly in anticipation of a taxpayer rescue. But libertarian apologists fall wildly short of providing any convincing explanation for what went wrong. Like all true ideologues, they interpret mounting evidence of error as proof that they were right all along.”
They then use go on to lay the blame at the feet of three “market fundamentalists,” (Soros term): “Three officials, more than any others, have been responsible for preventing effective regulatory action for a period of years: Alan Greenspan, the oracular former Fed chairman; Phil Gramm, the heartless former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee; and Christopher Cox, the unapologetic chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

To end it they have a rousing chorus of criticism of the basic libertarian philosophy: -
The best thing you can say about libertarians is that, because their views derive from abstract theory, they tend to be principled and rigorous in their logic. Those outside of government at places like the CATO Institute and Reason magazine are just as consistent in their opposition to government bailouts as to the kind of regulation that might have prevented one from being necessary. "Let failed banks fail" is the purist line. This approach would deliver a wonderful lesson in personal responsibility, creating thousands of new jobs in the soup kitchen and food-pantry industry.

The worst thing you can say about libertarians is that they are intellectually immature, frozen in the worldview many of them absorbed from Ayn Rand. Like other ideologues, libertarians react to the world failing to conform to their model by asking where the world went wrong. Their heroic view of capitalism makes it difficult for them to accept that markets can be irrational, misunderstand risk and misallocate resources—or that financial systems without vigorous government oversight constitute a recipe for disaster. They are bankrupt, and this time, there will be no bailout.
It appears to me that in the leadup to the election they have either decided that they are wasting their time pursuing votes from us, or that they don’t need us.


  1. Jim, gonna "pinch" this for Wordlwide Liberty, okay?

  2. Capitalism and freedom are responsible for more affluence, more jobs, more liesure and more production than any economic system in history. I assume you are saying that the idea of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" had nothing to do with the financial crisis. This crisis is a failure of socialism because that is the philosophy that animated ACORN to pursue lower lending standards when they bribed politicians and paid lobbiests to loosen those standards. It is the philosophy that animated Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd who blocked any reform of the system and it is the philosophy of the Obama crowd that said such loans were ok and who supported the idea of bundling worthless mortgages into government backed securities. It is the philosophy of ACORN who protested the banks and picketed the homes of bankers' homes to encourage predatory lending standards. Marxism destroys affluence by distorting the free trade of individuals. It did that in the Soviet Russia and in every country that it has been tried. It is doing that now in Venezuela. Once again, after the dust settles and the people find out what really caused this crisis and begin to see that the people responsible are the people who blamed capitalism...the Marxists who imposed on our system bad lending practices, they will, once again, realize that capitalism is the whipping boy for all the faults of government. Blaming capitalism and capitalists for the distortions in the economy caused by progressives has been the tactic of the progressive movement since the first part of the last century. Once again, Marxism is killing people as it always does. The proof is history. The facts are known.

  3. Rob; I assume you are saying that the idea of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" had nothing to do with the financial crisis.

    You are misreading what this post is about. This is a post about the liberals trying to blame the crisis on everybody but themselves. If you click the 'Economics' label at the bottom of the post and scroll down a couple you will find "Democrats caused Financial Crisis," which is exactly where I stand.

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