Monday, November 3, 2008
Laissez-faire, c'est fini
"Laissez-faire, c'est fini," said President Nicolas Sarkozy. "We will intervene massively whenever a strategic enterprise needs our money."
The column that I got this Sarkozy quote from was detailing the total statist mentality that has completely taken over in all the nations of Europe. Evans-Pritcherd, the author, very clearly lays out how statist intervention in free markets caused the current crisis and that the philosophy of free trade and free markets is completely absent from the political class that has grown up in the last twenty years.
Probably the first big crisis that Obama-Reid-Pelosi will deal with is the bankruptcy of the American automobile industry. Their first step will be to pass card-check so that the UAW can reduce Toyota and Honda to the same level of insolvency as GM and Ford. But that wont affect GM, Chrysler or Ford, they will need help within months. Soon people with no pension or savings will be paying taxes to protect the pensions of UAW members whose unreasonable demands have bankrupted the enterprises they worked for. Another cradle-to-grave liberal social scheme pays off in red ink. Those unions really were in the drivers seat for a while, weren't they? They still are. They make huge political payoffs to Democrats and will be rewarded with hundreds of billions of dollars for their investment. An entire state, Michigan, will soon have little economic life left besides a run down service sector catering to a pack of pensioned parasites. A true 'welfare state'.
Barak has promised to put the coal business into bankruptcy as well. Surely no responsible humanitarian would punish the innocent, black-begrimed, silicosis benighted coal-miner for the climatary sins of their greedy, earth-raping capitalist masters? I've been told that coal miners get mighty healthy pensions these days. We can just chalk it up to one of the minor expenses in the War Against Climate Change and just cover the pension tab out of the boundless public purse! As Caligula was heard once to say when someone questioned one of his many donatives, "Dont worry, there's plenty of money!"
Or was that Barak Obama? I get them confused sometimes. Both so like Gods you see. Last night I watched Barak as he laid the message of Change on a stadium full of keening chumps in Cincinnati. Just in that campaign speech were contained a trillion dollars worth of goodies to everyone. He basically promised Cadillac health care coverage to everybody, with the forty-nine million currently uninsured immediately given 'Congressional level' medical coverage. Luckily our medical system has that much unused capacity at its disposal. They might fund this one by rounding up the small businesses that would be the likely victims of a crippling federal mandate and strong-arming them into some kind of Omnibus Medical Plan so they dont all just drop all their employee's health coverage and let them join the Government Cadillac Plan.
Wow! The government will give Cadillac Health Care and make Cadillacs at the same time! Who needs a risky free market when you only have to tap into the geniuses emerging from our modern universities? A rise in the standard of living is certain. Maybe a good slogan will be, "Our New Happy Life". I like that. How do you say it in TextSpeak? R nu :) lif. Gee, imagine that, a new English-derived language with all the nuance and sublety removed. I vaguely remember reading a book that had that in it...but I cant recall the title. You know, that weird book where your TV was completely interactive. The one where The Ministry Of Plenty planned the economy, and what a great economy it was! Full employment for everyone.
In fact, its starting to look like the only thing Orwell got wrong was the date. To go back to the article I started with, the one about the total acceptance of Marxist economics, or as Evans-Pritcherd puts it, 'the Hegelian Broth', tomorrows election, whether a Democratic romp or a less damaging Republican last hurrah won't change the course of events at all. Will McCain let General Motors fall and make a speech reminding labor unions that excessive demands will lead to situations like this? No he wont. Will McCain support cheap energy as a way to jump start the free economy and help the auto makers? No he wont. Even if he wanted to do those things he would be prevented by the almost total opposition within the bureaucracy to any kind of free market policies.
Once, when I was a 13 year old starry-eyed worker for the Nevadans For Johnson campaign in 1964 one of my schoolmate's parents told me he was voting for Goldwater. This was in Nevada. These guys lived a few miles out of town on a few acres of tumbleweeds. The father made a living in a tiny two-man machine-repair business he ran out of a shed on his property and his old pickup truck. I used to go out there to ride horses out in the desert with my friend Steve. When his old man told me that he was voting for The Evil One I asked him why. He told me a story.
Once there was a little bird. A fox came to the bird with a fat worm he had dug up and offered the bird the worm in exchange for a feather. The bird had to work pretty hard to get himself a worm that fat so he plucked one of the tiny feathers from his underbelly, one he'd never miss, and traded it to the fox for a nice easy meal. Every day the same thing happened. The bird became fat and lazy and after a while he found that he no longer even wanted to fly. Thats when the fox ate him. Steve's dad said that liberty was a lot like that, if you trade it for a free meal then little by little you'll get weaker and weaker and then one day that selfsame meal will swallow up your freedom just like that bird got swallowed up. I didn't understand what he was talking about. What the hell do birds have to do with anything anyway? Whats for dinner?