American Elephants

Free enterprise or social democracy? It shouldn’t even be a question. by The Elephant's Child

In an interview with NPR, Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, gives her perspective (and her boss’s) on the car companies.

Jackson: The President has said — and I couldn’t agree more — that what this country needs is one single national road map that tells auto makers who are trying to become solvent again, what kind of car it is that they need to be designing and building for the American people.

NPR reporter: (interrupting) Is that the role of the government, though?  I mean that doesn’t sound like free enterprise.

Jackson: Well, it it, it is free enterprise in a way.  Umm uhh you know, first and foremost the free enterprise system has us where we are right this second (laughs) and so some would argue that the government already has a much larger role than we might have when Henry Ford rolled the first cars off the assembly line.

In the Wall Street Journal, Arthur C. Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, points out that the real culture war is over capitalism.  The new divide centers on free enterprise — the principle at the core of American culture.

You can see the beginnings of this schism, he says, in the “tea parties” that have sprung up around the country, with the count now greater than 800,000 people expressing their opposition to government deficits and bailouts that prop up those who engaged in mortgage fraud and corporate malfeasance.

They worry about the massive debt that will affect the lives of their grandchildren.  They paid their mortgages,  they were small business owners who don’t want  corporate welfare, they were bankers who made prudent loans.  They are watching elected politicians hand their tax money over to reward the people who did all the important things wrong.  And they don’t like the casual distribution of taxpayer money by the members of Congress who caused the problems in the first place.

The Pew Research Center asked people in March 2009, if we are better off  “in a free market economy even though there may be severe ups and downs from time to time.”  Fully 70 percent agreed, compared to 20 percent who disagreed.

Under President Obama’s tax plan, fully 49 percent of American adults will have no federal income-tax liability.  Another 11 percent will pay less than 5 percent of their income in taxes and less than $1,000 in total.  The other half will pay for everything — your own health care, and theirs, their education and  the “tax-cuts” that simply give the untaxed welfare money.  You will pay for all the volunteers who will do make work jobs in the name of “community service.”

“Social Democrats ” says Brooks, “are working to create a society where the majority are net recipients of the “sharing economy.”

Advocates of free enterprise must learn from the growing grass-roots protests, and make the moral case for freedom and entrepreneurship.  They have to declare that it is a moral issue to confiscate more income from the minority simply because the government can.  It’s also a moral issue to lower the rewards for entrepreneurial success, and to spend what we don’t have without regard for our children’s future.

Do read the whole thing.  It’s important to understand the real basis of today’s culture war.

4 Comments so far
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That is one of the biggest lies of this whole economic disaster. “The free market economy is what got us here.” No it isn’t. Government meddling in the free market is what got us here.

Not the “Wall Street Greed” not the “Deregulation”. It was the GOVERNMENT. They force banks to make loans they wouldn’t otherwise have made in order to push their social engineering policy.

It was then the governments policy on “mark to market” that overnight turned our banking system insolvent.

But instead of hearing the truth we hear the same mantra we heard through the campaign, that the “failed policies of George W. Bush got us here, and only the supreme commande… ah hem… I mean president Obama can get us out.”


Comment by Jay Burns

I could not agree more. Gets tiresome, doesn’t it! I guess we just have to keep explaining it over and over and over.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Explaining it over and over again, and yet, it almost seems like they are just trying to drag us into a war of attrition with words…
For those softy liberals who don’t believe in torture, maybe we could waterboard them for the truth?


Comment by Mike Lovell

lol. or just for fun.


Comment by American Elephant

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