“We ask that the government undertake the obligation above all of providing citizens with adequate opportunity for employment and earning a living. The activities of the individual must not be allowed to clash with the interests of the community, but must take place within its confines and be for the good of all. Therefore, we demand: … an end to the power of the financial interests. We demand profit sharing in big business. …We demand … the greatest possible consideration of small business in the purchases of national, state, and municipal governments. …We combat the … materialistic spirit within and without us, and are convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only proceed from within on the foundation of the common good before the individual good.” – From the political program of the Nazi Party, adopted in Munich, February 24, 1920
Arianna Huffington should probably quit using whatever it was that I feel she must have been smoking while writing her article, “Laissez-Faire Capitalism Should Be as Dead as Soviet Communism,” or at least cut back a bit. Alternatively she could vote LP in the hope that it may be decriminalized.
The cause of all of the current economic woes is, according to her laissez-faire capitalism; well she is a leftie. It seems that what we have currently is nothing short of unbridled free enterprise capitalism, unregulated, ungoverned, and untamed. In short we need, you guessed it, the introduction of bigger, better and more comprehensive regulation.
This must be news to every business owner in America, who seem to believe that they already labor under the groaning weight of federal, state and local government rules that influence every decision they make and cost a fortune in compliance costs. Arianna does not see it this way: -
…. But you can find all manner of free market fundamentalists still on the Senate floor or in Governor's mansions or showing up on TV trying to peddle the deregulation snake oil.
Take Sen. John Ensign, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who went on Face the Nation and, with a straight face, said of the economic meltdown: "Unfortunately, it was allowed to be portrayed that this was a result of deregulation, when in fact it was a result of overregulation."
Or Gov. Mark Sanford, who told Joe Scarborough he was against bailing out the auto industry because it would "threaten the very market-based system that has created the wealth that this country has enjoyed."
If a politician announced he was running on a platform of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" he would be laughed off the stage. (But not apparently if it is couched as “Spreading the wealth around.”)Basically the argument she uses is to selectively quote Bush and the people around him to promote the idea that Bush is in fact some sort of fundamentalist libertarian, when the opposite is in fact the case. She quotes a hit piece done by the NYT as showing “how the Bush administration's devotion to unregulated markets was a primary cause of our economy to ruin.”
The article in fact gives the lie to her claims: -
“Mr. Bush did foresee the danger posed by Fannie May and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage finance giants. The president spent years pushing a recalcitrant Congress to toughen regulation of the companies, ....” (Government sponsored finance giants are not consistent with free enterprise, nor is regulation, - Bush was not laissez-faire.)
“And both Mr. Paulson and his predecessor, John W Snow, say the housing push went too far.” (OK a policy pushing an industry is social engineering, not free enterprise.)
“Mr. Bush, in Atlanta to unveil a plan to increase the number of minority homeowners by 5.5 million, ….” (As above.)
“…. $130,000 town house, bought with an adjustable-rate mortgage and a $20,000 government loan as his down payment — just the sort of creative public-private financing Mr. Bush was promoting.” (Free enterprise?)
“So Mr. Bush had to, in his words, “use the mighty muscle of the federal government” to meet his goal. He proposed affordable housing tax incentives. He insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac meet ambitious new goals for low-income lending.
Concerned that down payments were a barrier, Mr. Bush persuaded Congress to spend up to $200 million a year to help first-time buyers with down payments and closing costs.” (Enough said.)
Neither Arianna, nor Bush have any real perception as to what free enterprise, or laissez-faire capitalism for that matter consist of.