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Managed economy or free markets?

By Henry Lamb
web posted June 13, 2011

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America was once the envy of the world.  Even the poorest people in America had far more than most of the rest of the people in the world.  Throughout the first two centuries of her existence, America welcomed people from everywhere, and supported their efforts to invent, to build, to create, and to produce wealth from whatever enterprise struck their fancy.   Labor unions and government regulations have put an end to that era.

For at least the last 50 years, government has continually tightened its grip on the economy by imposing ever-tighter controls over the activities of all businesses.  Whether to promote safety or to protect the environment, government has made it nearly impossible for American business to compete with the rest of the world.  In addition to this burden, labor unions, especially public employee labor unions, have fed Democrat candidates a healthy diet of campaign contributions in exchange for contracts that a free market would never tolerate.

The housing market crumbled because of government intervention.  The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and subsequent revisions imposed government management of the housing industry by forcing banks to issue loans to credit risks a free market would never tolerate.  To entice banks to make these unjustified loans, the government guaranteed repayment.  When some of the people couldn't, or wouldn't, repay their mortgages, the government took your tax money to make good the guarantee.  This is the single most important cause of the current economic disaster, and the responsibility rests upon Progressive Democrats who firmly believe that government must control and manage human activity.

Environmental regulations and government-mandated comprehensive land use plans have destroyed the concept of private property rights and elevated government to be the singular authority that controls the use of all land – regardless of who owns it.  There are countless horror stories in which government destroyed the lives of enterprising Americans by preventing them from using their own land and resources.   Ocie Mills and his son spent nearly two years in a federal prison for dumping 19 loads of building sand on his own property.  Bob Brace fought through the courts for 12 years to win the right to convert his own pasture to a cabbage field; he lost.  Wendy Birnbaum has been fighting for 12 years to use her 112 Washington acres as a campground. She still has to pay monstrous taxes on her land, but cannot use it to produce revenue.  There are literally thousands and thousands of these cases in which government rolled over its citizens with no thought of being limited by their consent.

Marxists/Communists/Socialists/Progressive Democrats are absolutely convinced that if left uncontrolled by government, people will destroy the planet, kill their neighbors with faulty products, and force people to work for slave wages.   Capitalists know that the conditions the Progressives fear most are the inevitable consequences of the very policies they advocate.  The former U.S.S.R. and Cuba are but two very good examples to document this fact.

Free markets, on the other hand, provide the most efficient procedures for creating and distributing the widest variety of goods to people at the lowest possible price.   A free market in housing would require banks to make their own decisions about lending money to people.  The bank alone would be impacted if the borrower failed to repay the loan.

Marxists/Communists/Socialists/Progressive Democrats believe that everyone has a right to adequate housing and that the entire community must bear the responsibility to provide housing for those who do not qualify for a mortgage. 

Marxists/Communists/Socialists/Progressive Democrats – led by Barack Obama – believe that everyone has a right to health care, and that the entire community must bear the responsibility to provide that care for everyone.  The cost of health care has escalated dramatically ever since government stepped in and began managing various portions of it.  The cost of a government-managed health care system must necessarily increase - while the quality and quantity of service must diminish.

The cost of a free market health care system is controlled by competition.  Service is the commodity that people pay for, and the better service will always attract both business and profits.   Marxists/Communists/Socialists/Progressive Democrats contend that profits are an unnecessary cost; that a government-managed program can eliminate profits and lower the cost.  Not a chance.  Waste and fraud in a government-managed system account for far more money than profits ever could.   Moreover, in a free market system, the patient would have a nearly endless choice of providers and facilities to meet his particular needs.   In a government-managed system, an appointed bureaucrat decides if, and what provider and facility will provide service.

America has almost forgotten what a free market really is.  Government's insidious expansion of control over business activity, while denying that its control is implementation of Marxist/Communist/Socialist/Progressive principles, is steadily killing free-market Capitalism in America.

It will continue under Barack Obama and a Democrat majority in Congress.  If free-market Capitalism is not restored in the next election, it may vanish from the earth. ESR

Henry Lamb is the author of "The Rise of Global Governance,"  Chairman of Sovereignty International , and founder of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO) and Freedom21, Inc.

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