by Melissa Clouthier | July 14, 2009 11:24 am
It’s self-evident that the President’s intention to remake America economically does not mean that he wants the market to be freer. In fact, the exact opposite is the case. Not only does President Obama want the government to centrally control the economy, he wants to control what industries make up the economy of the future. How is that not socialism?
In my American Issues Project column today, I write:
This new socialist America, then, will be a more pastoral, gauzy utopia where energy isn’t consumed, the environment is pristine, and people will all be equally drone-like and miserable. That may be over-simplifying it some, but that’s what I read from Summer’s commentary.
But best of all, the majority of the economy will be controlled by guys like Larry Summers, neither vetted, nor confirmed as a cabinet member–a Czar among Czars. When asked about his role by the FT, he says:
“It is certainly incredible, as intellectually challenging as anything I’ve ever done … What makes it so challenging and exciting, as well as exhausting, is the range of subjects.”
So, like Russia, or any other good socialist state, the country is to be run by intellectuals eager to try their, in this case, tested and failed theories out on the plebeian masses. The greatest capitalistic country in the world has become Professor Obama’s workshop for socialist fantasies, because socialism is all about implementation. It just hasn’t been done right yet.
In another column at American Issues, Thomas Sowell writes of “inequities” for inequities and the oft repeated unfairness is what President Obama hopes to cure with socialism:
The problem with trying to equalize is that you can usually only equalize downward. If the government were to spend some of its stimulus money trying to raise my basketball ability level to that of Michael Jordan, it would be an even bigger waste of money than most of the other things that Washington does.
So the only way to try to equalize that has any chance at all would be to try to bring Michael Jordan down to my level, whether by drastic rule changes or by making him play with one hand tied behind his back, or whatever.
The problem with this approach, as with many other attempts at equalization, is that it undermines the very activity involved. Basketball would be a much less interesting game if it was played under rules designed to produce equality of outcomes.
Attendance would fall off to the point where neither Michael Jordan nor anyone else could make a living playing the game.
The same principle applies elsewhere. If you are going to try to equalize the chances of women getting jobs as firefighters, for example, then you are going to have to lower the physical requirements of height, weight and upper body strength.
That means that you are going to have more firefighters who are not capable of carrying an unconscious person out of a burning building.
Besides lowering individual standards, certain industries of the government’s choosing will receive preferences. So, in a backward world, a government rooting for fairness will unfairly promote ideas and businesses that would otherwise fail. Enter Cap-n-Trade. Rick Moran, again at AIP, talks about how it failed in Europe and why:
It’s like the old medieval Catholic Church practice of selling indulgences. Energy companies, as well as any company that uses energy, will be able to buy their way out of carbon hell by purchasing carbon credits at auction. Presumably, these will be so expensive it will force innovation down the throats of business, and hence, reduce the amount of CO2 pouring into the atmosphere…in theory.
Also in theory, the government could have asked all 300 million of us to hold our breath for 5 years, which would have been cheaper and accomplished exactly same thing; which is to say, absolutely nothing. Actually, cap and trade will make some people quite wealthy as well as enrich the government at our expense, so you can’t really say “nothing” will be accomplished. It just won’t do what the government says it will do.
They have already discovered this in Europe where the European Union initiated a cap and trade scheme back in 2005. Ben Lieberman, who is Senior Policy Analyst in Energy and the Environment in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, testified before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on July 8 where he gave our senators an earful on the total, unmitigated disaster experienced by EU economies as a result of cap and trade.
Lieberman began by highlighting the Heritage study on the probable costs of cap and trade here in America: a whopping $3,000 increase in energy bills for a family of 4, while sucking $9.4 trillion out of the economy by 2035. And in this deep recession, Heritage estimates a million jobs will go down the tubes.
So, in a socialist’s paradise, less talented people and losing ideas aren’t elevated, talented people and winning ideas are persecuted and sit out. That’s the only way for socialism to work. Because the ideas and people the government chooses to subsidize can’t make it on their own record of achievement.
Capitalism can be tough. Thomas Sowell was not born with the gifts to play basketball like Michael Jordan. Why? He was given other gifts. He chose to use them. With capitalism there was no guarantee of success, yet there were no limitations, either.
President Obama wants guarantees for people and those come, inherently, with limits. That’s socialism.
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