WHY LIBERAL DEMOCRATS SHOULD FAVOR A FREE MARKET
Attorney Jonathan Emord
March 22, 2010
If you are a liberal Democrat, you presumably favor redistribution of income from those who have to those who have not; government intervention into the market to correct “market failures;” and use of government influence and power around the world to advance the cause of human rights. If you believe in all of those things, then you should presently favor a free market. Your somewhat more extreme kindred, the leaders of the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China, have seen the wisdom of investing in a free market. They have come to realize that taxing even well indoctrinated peasants yields far less money for social planning than taxing budding capitalists.
In short, the American market labors under a heavy tax and regulatory burden. Even if you think it not taxed or regulated enough, you should realize that the economy is in an abysmal condition and cannot improve without relief. The only way a liberal Democrat can experience the pleasure of spending other people’s money is if those other people make money. Liberal Democrats depend on market successes, upon the rise of capitalists, to tax the living daylights out of them and use their money for social engineering. If capitalists do not thrive because the market is in the doldrums, social planners lose the opportunity to confiscate and redistribute that money. Truth be told, the liberal Democrat’s best friend is a wealthy entrepreneur who has “exploited” the free market for all it is worth. Without fat cat capitalists, liberal Democrats are paper tigers. They are office holders with big mouths but little else. A promise to takeover the American health care system, banking system, or automobile industry appears ridiculous without ready access to the hundreds of billions needed to effectuate that result. So, the money has to come from those the liberals love to hate: the captains of industry.
Were I a trusted liberal advisor to President Obama, I would recommend following the Chinese Communist example to the extent that it supports the development of a free market. I would tell the President that he could put muscle behind his rhetoric if he gave the capitalists a break for a change and let them hold onto their wealth for a season. He could then cherry pick their earnings and approach the business of social engineering on a piecemeal basis. Patience, Mr. President.
The communists learned that it is far more prestigious and influential for them to ride atop a raging economic tiger than atop an anemic economic kitty. You cannot pound your shoe on the lecturn like Soviet Premier Khrushchev or demand that Obama not meet with Tibetan Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama like Chinese General Secretary Hu Jintao and be taken seriously unless you have economic clout. On the other hand, you cannot demand that political prisoners be released, that state military not be unleashed to annihilate political opponents, or that production of nuclear fuel be halted and be taken seriously when you are a nation that teeters on the brink of economic collapse or has the greatest debt in the world and could witness a loss of its global reserve currency status.
In short, the nice thing about a very bad economy is that it reveals to the prescient the fraud that is socialist redistribution of income. It proves that government planners are only as good as the money capitalists make. It proves that government cannot generate wealth, only confiscate it. It proves that hard economic times are no time for social planners to increase taxes and regulation. Even for those who have undying faith in government, the times should awaken in them a modicum of common sense—that it is better to let the people keep the fruits of their labors, at least for the moment, and that it is better to put those pipe dreams that cost billions in moth balls until the economy generates billions for the taking. Much as they are impatient about redesigning the world, government planners must now learn that they cannot finance the redesigns until the wealthy earn a lot more (and that requires tax and regulatory relief).
The hard lesson for the Obama Administration is that grandiose plans for a government run health care system, a government redesign of the energy marketplace, a government make-work jobs agenda, a government expansion of regulation over all consumer goods, and a government drubbing of companies that have benefited from prior lax enforcement of regulation cannot occur without killing the very beast upon which the government planners feast. Ironically, for those in the administration who hate free enterprise, the death of the market means the loss of their power, if not their jobs. The justice in that is quite sweet.
So, despite the zeal of those who view election to public office as the only legal way to confiscate other people’s money and spend it without limit, the reality closing in upon them is that the market may be like that turnip from which you cannot squeeze blood.
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Although I very much regret the hardships imposed by this tough economy, out of the misery there is at least one message that just now appears to be seeping into the brains of a minority of the liberals who lead our government (the rest, quite naturally and perpetually, have their heads in the sand): The market can recover but only if it is allowed enough freedom to reap what it sows.
© 2010 Jonathan W. Emord - All Rights Reserved