I am so sick of free market mumbo-jumbo infecting politics that I feel like walking up to Ron Paul or Charles and David Koch and just projectile vomiting all over them.
This all started a couple of years ago when I noticed an acquaintance, a jazz drummer, posting all these links to www.mises.org and www.freedomsphoenix.com and some hokey little site called Hayek Café.
Mises? That stands for Ludwig von Mises, a so-called neo-classical economist who advocated the principle picked up by Milton Friedman, the Chicago School of Economics dumbo who fostered the idea that the economy is organic and thus should not be disturbed or disrupted by government regulation.
Hayek? He’s another neo-classical economist, also Austrian like Mises, who, in trying to come-up with an economics that would stop the evil bugaboo of Communism or National Socialism, ended up with the hair-brained idea that we can have economics without government.
That’s right. A free market. A market undisturbed by Federal regulatory agencies, otherwise known on the street as “the fuzz”.
The jazz drummer, you see, was what is called an anarcho-capitalist. All he is asking for, he said, was the “separation of commerce and state”, something along the lines of the “separation of church and state”, and I always thought, “Aha! We are seeing worship of Mammon just like the Book of Revelation said we would during the end times!”
Not that I put much credence in the Book of Revelation. But I was really thinking of the implications of an absolutely free market. In fact, we’ve seen the effects of relatively unregulated market activity already in the U.S. And it’s not pretty.
Back in 2008, I was in the hospital battling acute myelogenous leukemia, a horrific disease, one that required a lot of chemotherapy and blood transfusions and even platelet transfusions. One day, I was watching CNN, the only news station the public hospital provided on its television networking, and up comes a story about Chinese-manufactured Heparin. Heparin is a blood-thinner that is very important to people who are receiving blood transfusions. Heparin has to be absolutely sterile, especially for leukemia sufferers with compromised immune systems, and yet the dumbo Chinese had managed to ship loads and loads of “tainted Heparin” into the U. S.
Why? Because some idiot in China figured it would be cheaper to use the wrong ingredients. Needless to say, I was petrified.
But back to my argument with the free market worshipper and anarcho-capitalist. He was always polite, concentrated on convincing me of his arguments that the economy, being an “emergent order”, is an organic phenomenon that becomes unstable if the supposedly inviolable laws of supply and demand are blurred-out by the “static” of government regulation.
Oh. By the way, the anarcho-capitalist jazz drummer was absolutely beside himself over taxation. He calls it “theft” because taxation is not “voluntary” and uses “force” to intimidate citizens into following the law. Wow! He talked about the government’s monopoly on the use of force, even while I was quietly questioning why he would use an economic term, “monopoly”, to describe an idea implicit to the concept of governing. If the government allowed everyone to use force whenever everyone wanted to use force, I argued, we’d be back to the early days before the advent of the Roman republic—when competition for scarce resources always resulted in warfare.
Did I mention the guy was bonkers over taxation? Oh yeah. I mentioned the guy was bonkers over taxation. But taxes help us as a unified society to build things for ourselves, things like roads and highways, public hospitals, libraries, schools, all sorts of good things. The anarcho-capitalist’s counter-argument? War. He didn’t like his dues used to commit atrocities like the drone-killings now taking place in Pakistan and Yemen.
Oh well. He had me there. I have never been one for war. Even so, I do admit that, sometimes, war is inevitable. But war for profit? It sure seems to me that the U. S. has taken a wrong turn right about there.
Of course, my anarcho-capitalist buddy was intent upon blaming only the government for Iraq and Afghanistan. When I countered that Halliburton, Bechtel, Dresser, Rockwell, Bell Helicopter, Colt, Smith and Wesson, Texas Instruments, the entire oil industry—just loads and loads of profit-mongers—were behind both wars…well, I got a test pattern. Well, of course, economic exchange is good. Don’t blame the economic exchangers for war. Really? For sure?
Then there was this business about regulation. The anarcho-capitalist and I argued a lot about regulation. I’ve already cited the lack of Chinese regulation in the Heparin scandal, and there are loads and loads of others, the most recent being the Centers for Disease Control’s study that has revealed that years of funding cutbacks at the U. S. Food and Drug Administration has resulted in an upsurge of food-borne illnesses. Why? Because the FDA has neither the money nor the manpower necessary to ensure our food is untainted by disease. In fact, the Bush Administration so buggered and dismantled the Federal regulatory apparatus that, when 2008 rolled around, the Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t have either the laws in place needed to stop the fraud-bent disaster from happening or the manpower to keep the banksters and fraudsters clean. Even worse, Allen Greenspan, an Ayn Rand sympathizer and free market Mammon worshipper, was in command of the Federal Reserve, and he didn’t want to do anything at all, even when warnings, coming to the Fed as early as 2004, demanded some action from the Fed.
Now, it’s been two years since my two-year-long debate with the anarcho-capitalist. And you know what? I’ve decided that this free market economics “trend” we’re seeing in Conservative politics and in the financial sector is nothing more than a great, big con game.
Why? Because of two things: First, the business community and the rich in general don’t seem to think they need to fulfill their obligations to the country through taxes. And second, the only ones who will benefit from a summary rollback of federal and state regulation activity will be, aha, the business community and the rich in general.
But small fry everywhere are embracing the fraudulent teachings of Mises, Hayek, Bastiat and Rothbard. This isn’t good news. Before 1980, the U. S. had enjoyed a relatively smooth ride, economically speaking, one with no boom-bust cycles because the farsighted FDR administration had put into place regulations that blunted the effects of booms and busts. Now that those regulations have been pushed back, we’re having boom-bust cycles about once every five years.
And you know who’s getting hurt? Us. The average folks. The small fry. The so-called little people.
Meanwhile the rich are richer than ever before.
Free market economics is one big con game. If we let it reach an apex, this country will dive into the Third World like an Olympic diver. I’m not kidding. Stop those people now.