Socialism has now come openly and explicitly to America. And it has come
to save free market capitalism.
What else can one call it when the government takes over entire huge
private sector entities for the good of society; when many hundreds of billions
of taxpayer dollars are pumped into failed private sector entities; when
the government decides which entities shall die--Lehman-- and which
survive--A.I.G.; and when the stock market is "rescued" by talk of creating
a permanent government agency to do all that on a vast and permanent basis?
Even Republicans seem to be for socialism now.
OK, I accept it, as conservatives and liberals alike seem to be
doing, although some have been raising questions about accountability. But most agree that these recent actions, or something similar, by the government are necessary for the
greater good of society.
OK, fine. But then here are ten things I never want to hear again from
free market ideologues:
1. That the free market is self-correcting;
2. That the free market must always be protected from government regulation
and control lest its growth, and the growth of the American economy, be
3. That any regulatory constraints on economic activities to prevent
calamitous excesses is forbidden, while massive government takeovers to
remedy those excesses is welcome;
4. That universal single-payer health care, like Medicare for everyone, is
socialized medicine, to be avoided like the plague, and that health care
should be left instead to the mystic genius of the free market;
5. That school voucher systems can provide the poor with better education
through that same mystic genius;
6. That Individual Retirement Accounts invested in the stock market will
provide ordinary people with retirement security better than Social
7. That corporate defined contribution retirement plans that give
employees their very own 401(k) accounts to manage and invest are better
for ordinary people than defined benefit pension plans in which the
employer assumes the long term risks and benefits of market fluctuations;
8. That greed and self interest, unregulated and unconstrained, is the
surest way to economic paradise, and that government intervention is a road
9. That Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan were economic saviors, as
opposed to John Maynard Keynes, John Kenneth Galbraith, Franklin Delano
Roosevelt and the New Deal;
10. And finally, that Republican de-regulators are interested in cutting
taxes for ordinary Americans, when the taxes cut are vanishingly small next
to the hundreds of billions of dollars of debt the government has now
assumed that will have to be paid by those same taxpayers, their children
and their grandchildren.
If this is morning in America, perhaps it is time we all woke up.