Monday, April 27, 2009

The Truth About the Economy (Updated)

There is indeed plenty of business-government col­laboration around, enough to justify calling it by its own name: corporatism. Since such practices are the antithesis of laissez-faire liberalism, it is hard to see how the free market can rightly get the blame for them. - Joseph Stromberg

My wife and I had a long discussion yesterday after church, one that began on the glider in her garden area and ended on the loveseat in our living room. We talked about the differences between laissez-faire free markets and the state-capitalist (or state-corporate, or virtual fascist) system we actually live under, and how very few people know the distinction.

This morning I ran across an absolutely brilliant piece at The Freeman by Chris Sciabarra that lays out the argument in no uncertain, John Taylorite terms:

There is no free market. There is no “laissez-faire capitalism.” The government has been deeply involved in setting the parameters for market relations for eons; in fact, genuine “laissez-faire capitalism” has never existed...

We heard a lot about “change” during the last presidential campaign, and about the necessity to end the influence of Washington lobbyists on public policy. But that influence exists because Washington has the power to dispense privilege. And privileges will always be dispensed in ways that benefit “ultimate decision-makers.” That’s the way the system is rigged. It is not simply that intervention breeds corruption; it’s that corruption is inherent in the process itself. [emphasis added]

Read all of this essential article here.

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