Laissez Faire Links: Myths Agaisnt Capitalism, Obamacare, Budget Talks, and the Index of Economic Freedom

Myths against capitalism, Doctors under Obamacare, budget cuts in lieu of growing government (how can that be?), and a decline in economic freedom for Americans are up for discussion today.

  • Check out Don Watkins’ new article over at the American on the common equation of successful businessmen with “greedy capitalists”.  The comparison often made between crooks like Bernie Madoff and successful businessmen such as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs are erroneous at best.  On the contrary, the two are polar opposites.
  • Ari Armstrong points out the new problem posed by Obamacare in Under ObamaCare, “The Doctor Can’t See You Now”
  • The Republicans are just as guilty as the Democrats regarding our growing welfare state.  Michael A. Laferrara discusses the supposed “cuts” from SNAP proposed by Republicans.  The important point to note, however, is that no entity in Washington questions the morality of federal assistance and its growing role in the daily lives of Americans.
  • Indeed, federal assistance has become its own institution in Washington, often dominating political issues as fundamental and basic as the fiscal budget.  The current shutdown is a result not of politics in itself, but a fundamental disagreement between left and right on the scope of government involvement, symbolized most prominently by Obamacare.  The Senate rejection of House budget proposals along with current polls of Obamacare indicate that Washington listens little to the people when making decisions that affect them on a daily basis.

In every poll conducted by eight major national pollsters this year, opposition to the Affordable Care Act outweighs support. In the September 2013 CBS News/New York Times poll, for example, 39 percent of respondents approve of the law and 51 percent disapprove. In the mid-September Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 39 percent have a favorable view of it and 43 percent an unfavorable one. The late September CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found 38 percent in favor and 57 percent opposed.

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Capitalism’s True Legacy, Freedom and Plenty

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Anthony Gregory’s piece below exerts a passionate defense of our nation’s and the world’s namesake.  Indeed, capitalism has taken quite a beating over the past few decades. Yet, despite all the ideological debates among politicians, bureaucrats, and academics, one cannot deny that the fruits of capitalism are present all around us.  It was not government that provided us with our way of life. Rather, the twentieth century saw its progress forged from the furnaces of the human mind.   Ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and labor built the world we live in, not welfare, food stamps, social security, medicare and the myriad of state-funded programs that are now draining the coffers of Americans nationwide.

It is simply a fact that capitalism, even hampered by the state, has dragged most of the world out of the pitiful poverty that characterized all of human existence for millennia. It was industrialization that saved the common worker from the constant tedium of primitive agriculture. It was the commodification of labor that doomed slavery, serfdom, and feudalism. Capitalism is the liberator of women and the benefactor of all children who enjoy time for study and play rather than endure uninterrupted toil on the farm. Capitalism is the great mediator between tribes and nations, which first put aside their weapons and hatreds in the prospect of benefiting from mutual exchange.

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Gregory’s piece is not so much an argument as it is a simple reminder to the American people that capitalism works.  The primary debates coming out of Washington today are ideological, yet, it is the practical ideology of capitalism that produces. Capitalism’s three basic tenets of free-exchange, free-markets, and labor mobility are themselves based on freedom: the freedom to exchange my dollars as I see fit, the freedom for me to enter into any market absent artificial barriers such as government-mandated licenses, and the freedom to work where I choose.  What those in Washington do not have that proponents of capitalism possess in abundance is the substantive proof that our ideology is practical because it has produced the beds we sleep in, the food we eat, and a level of opulence that allows us leisure and the opportunity to raise responsible children who will continue in capitalism’s namesake.

Take a look at Gregory’s article, and remember that while capitalism is based on the ideology of freedom and production, its opponents will have you believe they can bring you the same degree of freedom, albeit from an ideology based on altruism, central planning, and the forced redistribution of wealth.

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