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The Rosett Report

Remember the Free Market?

July 26th, 2013 - 2:10 am

Hard to believe these days, but just a generation or so ago the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union was hailed as a victory for capitalism. In the 20th century’s brutal war of ideas, central planning had lost, and the free market had won. Or so it seemed. But that’s not how it’s working out among the developed nations. Instead, government meddling in the economies has grown and grown, and with it — lo and behold — so has this persistent problem of unemployment, especially among the young.

This has produced endless discussion centered on the idea that yet more government meddling is needed to “create jobs.” Thus did the head of the United Nations International Labor Organization, Guy Ryder, lament to the world last week that unemployment among the G-20 industrialized nations remains at “unacceptably high levels.” Under the headline “Ambitious job creation policies needed to tackle unemployment in G20 countries,” the UN press office crammed a sampling of Ryder’s remarks into a press release, including such mattress filler as:

Experience suggests that high employment levels and inclusive growth can be achieved through a well-designed combination of supportive macroeconomic policies and employment, labour market and social protection policies that are designed to spread the benefits of growth.

Translation: he is urging lots more government, tuning, fiddling, regulating, redistributing (and, by implication, taxing). Which is a great way to choke the life out of individual incentives, creativity and opportunity to genuinely create those elusive jobs.

What’s gone missing entirely from this discussion is the idea that when government leaves people free to choose for themselves, in free markets, the process of voluntary exchange creates wealth — and, yes, jobs. Actually, not only does it generate jobs, but it gives a lot more people a lot more choice about what kind of jobs they prefer to take — since only in a perfectly gray and dormant economy is a “job” an utterly standard, interchangeable unit.

Apparently oblivious to the irony, the ILO chief delivered his remarks in Moscow — capital of a 20th century experiment in state-run job creation that went to such extremes that, having deprived generations of freedom and taken the lives of scores of millions, it finally collapsed — replete with such grim jokes as “we pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.” No, I’m not saying that from Moscow the head of the ILO was advocating a return to communism. But he was talking about yet more steps in that general direction; the state as the grand arbiter of who needs what, and which tradeoffs constitute some uniform pursuit of happiness. It’s not a good direction to take.

There’s a time-tested better way. Remember the free market?

 

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Top Rated Comments   
Communism and socialism have never worked, yet they are embraced by many, maybe a majority. Capitalism, while not perfect, has never failed. I don't get it. Do people value short term freebies more than long term prosperity?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The allure of socialism is that it holds the promise of other people's money. That's quite and attractant, a great motive to forget history. Forget the great and undeniable success of what Regan and Laffer did. They were derided as trickle down idiots, stupid people. After a 40 year economic boom unprecedented in world history, maybe Reagan and Laffer weren't that stupid but what matters now is that Obama and his comrades hold the promise of OPM, which is always irresistible. Sure, it doesn't work, socialism never does. But it's free.

Until you run out of OPM, that is. Until you destroy the host by sucking it dry.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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You know, liberty is not for everyone. Instead of worrying about immigration, we should encourage emmigration. It might be cheaper to pay to ship social takers to more hospitable countries better designed for this sort of thing.

Of course, the real irony is no one would let them become citizens in too many other countries would they? How many countries enforce immigration the way we do here in the old melting pot gone cold?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well you have to look at this from a government's point of view.

First the word "free" contradicts everything that a government stands for. Imagine how difficult it would be for government to control and shepherd people, for their own good you understand, if people wandered about freely making their own personal choices?

Second the word "market" implies a whole mass of willing sellers and willing buyers. The way it really works is Government tells people what they must buy from selected government-crony sellers. OMG, what would happen if we had a mass of citizens gone rogue who were buying stuff from any Joe Sixpack who flashed stuff in front of their eyes!

Oh no; it's much more in the people's interest to serve government by living the kind of life that government dictates, and by contributing to the Crony Economy as government commands.

That way the political class stays fully employed and get's to live high on the hog free of the restrictions placed on its incapable dependent servants.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Communism and socialism have never worked, yet they are embraced by many, maybe a majority. Capitalism, while not perfect, has never failed. I don't get it. Do people value short term freebies more than long term prosperity?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I would say yes, they only think of right now. Combined with economic ignorance and you get, "Hey free stuff for me" thinking. Doesn't Obama get all the money from his stash?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To even have a shot at fixing this in the US we must bring a different crowd "out of the shadows". Did you ever wonder who exactly is setting policy and writing the speeches for the teleprompter-in-chief? Obama does not have to ever defend anything that he says (or reads) and these people never have to show themselves to explain in any detail how the actions of this government will create the results it claims to want. We are allowing a 4 Trillion dollar enterprise to be massively interfered with based on slogans and decisions made by a small group of unidentified handlers with questionable credentials.

I am guessing that there isn't any actual policy setting with any sort of planning or critical thinking or management that you expect to find in a professionally run enterprise - or even in one's own life. Just ideology driven orders to promote this sort of thing and block that sort of thing. There is no feedback loop and therefore a high probability that things will tilt out of control sooner than later. Perhaps this is our best hope - a quick arrival at the messy and painful end point for this "progressive" folly.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The money that can be made in a political career is inversely proportional to the degree the economy conforms to the free market model. There's a great deal of money to be made by picking the winners and losers, and really that does seem to be the primary function of most governments today.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Trying to persuade our administration to even look at "free market" as a way out of our current economic dilemma is a good example of the proverb, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink". This administration is incapable of understanding anything other than their own propaganda.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Problems in the world seem to look after themselves when you let nature take it's rightful way. Look at the muslim problem in the Arab world, it's sorting itself out without our help quite nicely.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The allure of socialism is that it holds the promise of other people's money. That's quite and attractant, a great motive to forget history. Forget the great and undeniable success of what Regan and Laffer did. They were derided as trickle down idiots, stupid people. After a 40 year economic boom unprecedented in world history, maybe Reagan and Laffer weren't that stupid but what matters now is that Obama and his comrades hold the promise of OPM, which is always irresistible. Sure, it doesn't work, socialism never does. But it's free.

Until you run out of OPM, that is. Until you destroy the host by sucking it dry.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Politicians will never, ever accept that the free market is even to be considered, much less than that it beats government-managed economies. We speak here of persons:
-- Who regard politics as the most important of all undertakings;
-- Who are fully aware that most human activity is commercial in nature;
-- Whose interest is in attaining power for themselves and over others;
-- Who would be unable to enjoy such power were it to remain un-exercised;
-- Whom a functioning free market would therefore put “out of business.”

Therefore, he who tries to argue for the superiority of the free market to a politician is wasting his time. Note that those who desire to “cuddle up” to the powerful virtually never argue for anything but political interventions; they’re aware that their prospects lie in persuading the politician that his pre-existent belief – i.e., that political power is the only thing that really matters – is true and beneficial. There’s a lesson in that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In order to 'transform" America the free market system must be destroyed - lock, stock and barrel. And while private enterprise surely exists all over America, the fact of the matter is that conducting business - especially for small businesses - is so onerous that many are under water. Not only that, but with the looming catastrophe of ObamaCare, it will be impossible to CREATE new small businesses.

Herein lies the raison d'etre of Obama Inc's 'transformation' process - http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/08/07/barack-hussein-obamas-deconstruction-plans-green-wise-via-the-economy-disarming-the-citizens-via-gun-control-connecting-the-dots-addendum-to-the-second-term-plans-of-an-obama-presidency-c/

Moreover, their putsch, via the IRS, places the last nail in private enterprise.

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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