The blog where I rant about things that should be obvious to everyone

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our economic system and freedom

Both in main stream and alternative politics (by alternative I mean groups that do not find themselves at home in either the Democratic or Republican parties), there are some odd views held on who the greatest economic criminals are. On the one more leftist side you have the opinion that anyone who is fantastically wealthy, such as Warren Buffet, is evil. On the right side you have the view that it is the tax and spend liberals who are stealing and destroying wealth, and the private sector is championed.

What I find odd about this is that both sides very obviously have a point. The lefties who say that it is private sector financial institutions have been gaming the system and destroying wealth while lining their pockets, are absolutely right. Where they go wrong is to lay the blame at the feet of the free market. Don't believe me? Just think about it. Were in the world and at what point in history has there been a society where the strong did not reap where the weak sowed?  The free market is not the problem, human nature is the problem, and no economic system is going to fix it.  Instead the best economic system is the one that down plays that part of human nature as much as possible, which for my money is the free market, or something very close to it.

The righties on the other hand go on about crony capitalism and how we just need to fix the system so there is no socialism and then everything will be great. I do tend to agree with that. The idea that we currently have a free market is absurd. Every economic move I make the government is watching over my shoulder making sure that I follow regulations and have all the appropriate permits and paper work in place. Then to top it off, they'll subsidize competitor companies allowing them to operate at a loss until there is no competition. But where the righties go wrong is by putting all of the blame for this completely at the feet of politicians. Don't get me wrong, someone like Rick Perry, who made a deal with Merck to force teenage girls to get Merck's HPV vaccination, is complete scum. But no one on the right seems to really be going after Merck. What about their attempt to bilk tax payers out of however many millions of dollars would have been spent buying their product.

In almost any case of either the government or the private sector stealing from regular guys, there are going to be two guilty parties. One in the government who will receive some sort of kick back, and one in the private sector who will reap profits from unfair regulations or subsidies or both. And for the most part, neither sees any real consequences, and as Max Keiser said both of them need to hang.

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