Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Barack Obama's Leeches

Mayor Bloomberg was on television yesterday. I wasn't paying careful attention but he seemed to be suggesting that American International Group will survive despite financial losses and that markets need to be regulated. The Sun reports today that Governor Paterson is changing New York insurance law to allow the firm to borrow from its subsidiaries. The rule of law is is becoming an alien concept to our increasingly socialistic, government-by-whim society. What especially troubles me is that I doubt that Governor Paterson or Mayor Bloomberg have ever learned about or thought about why the rule of law was associated with the solitary (in world history) rise of technology and wealth under free market capitalism, and how violating it will destroy the incentives and flexibility that enable it. Americans have allowed themselves to be led by fools.

Another potential milestone on America's government-built expressway to serfdom is that, as the Sun's Russell Berman reports, our inept automakers may get a bailout from the American people. The automakers don't think enough of American workers to locate their plants in Flint or Detroit, but they are happy to accept alms from those same workers.

The Sun notes:

"The nation's top car manufacturers are pushing Congress to act by the end of this month to guarantee $25 billion in loans to help them invest in the production of fuel-efficient vehicles. The idea is being greeted warmly by both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, who see it as a way to win votes in the swing state of Michigan while also moving America away from dependence on foreign oil."

The pattern of government support for incompetently managed businesses, from Fannie Mae in Washington to General Motors in Detroit to Bear Stearns in Manhattan, is a function of a failed, mercantilist economic model associated with Harvard University and the New Deal. The vicious harm that this ideology is doing to America's future is evident. When firms are badly managed, they should be closed and replaced by more nimble firms with more capable managements, not supported at taxpayer expense through the printing of money. Readjustments are painful, but the alternative is economic decline as resources are diverted to incompetent and slothful cronies at the expense of innovative entrepreneurs.

In response to massive over-regulation, government subsidized-firm incompetence and failed, New Deal economic theories, Senator Barack Obama, like Mayor Bloomberg a product of Harvard's graduate program, calls for more regulation. This call is echoed by John McCain, Harry Reid and our other illiterate leaders, who tell the American public that they will illegalize greed, all the while snickering as the laws that they pass reflect their own greed.

Senator Obama reminds me of Benjamin Rush, the physician who signed the Declaration of Independence. As a political activist we can respect Rush, but as a physician he advocated the aggressive use of leeches to cure disease. The idea that leeches can cure cancer is much like Senator Obama's and Mayor Bloomberg's idea that more regulation can cure economic decline.

The Sun notes that Senator McCain's diagnosis is as off base as Senator Obama's, and they are right. The state of education about economics is this. The establishment advocates economic ideas that harm innovation and the average American's long term prospects, and they do it in the name of helping the average American. Regulation is a leech-cure that weakens the patient instead of curing him. What is worse, though, is that regulation does protect one group: the physicians' friends, the wealthy recipients of corporate welfare.

Benjamin Rush aimed to cure his patients. Barack Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are much worse. They are willing to harm the American public in order to benefit themselves, their contributors and their fellow Harvard alumni. They may really believe their silly ideas. But alternative knowledge is available, and they are unwilling to be educated.

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