Monday, September 20, 2010

November's Choice: Free markets or managed capitalism

Somehow I missed this article by Arthur Brooks and Paul Ryan in last week's WSJ: "The Size of Government and the Choice This Fall." As a devoted fan of free markets and a believer in limited government, I think the article deserves some special mention, especially since it is quite good and in the best tradition of the Tea Party, of which I am also quite fond. Here are some excerpts, but read the whole thing if you haven't.

As we move into this election season, Americans are being asked to choose between candidates and political parties. But the true decision we will be making is this: Do we still want our traditional American free enterprise system, or do we prefer a European-style social democracy? This is a choice between free markets and managed capitalism; between limited government and an ever-expanding state; between rewarding entrepreneurs and equalizing economic rewards.
We [must] decide which ideal we prefer: a free enterprise society with a solid but limited safety net, or a cradle-to-grave, redistributive welfare state. Most Americans believe in assisting those temporarily down on their luck and those who cannot help themselves, as well as a public-private system of pensions for a secure retirement. But a clear majority believes that income redistribution and government care should be the exception and not the rule.
Unfortunately, many political leaders from both parties in recent years have purposively obscured the fundamental choice we must make by focusing on individual spending issues and programs while ignoring the big picture of America's free enterprise culture. In this way, redistribution and statism always win out over limited government and private markets.
Individually, these things might sound fine. Multiply them and add them all up, though, and you have a system that most Americans manifestly oppose—one that creates a crushing burden of debt and teaches our children and grandchildren that government is the solution to all our problems.
More and more Americans are catching on to the scam. Every day, more see that the road to serfdom in America does not involve a knock in the night or a jack-booted thug. It starts with smooth-talking politicians offering seemingly innocuous compromises, and an opportunistic leadership that chooses not to stand up for America's enduring principles of freedom and entrepreneurship.
As this reality dawns, and the implications become clear to millions of Americans, we believe we can see the brightest future in decades. But we must choose it.

I share the authors' optimism, and their belief that voters will make the right choice in November. This is one of the major reasons I have remained optimistic since late 2008, despite the onslaught of Big Government. Too much government spending, too much income redistribution, and too much oppressive regulation have been major headwinds to economic recovery. With any luck this sea-change in the mood of the electorate that has been brewing since April 2009 will be able to reverse our statist course and eventually restore the economy to health.

And did I mention that I like the idea of Paul Ryan for President in 2012?

HT: Russell Redenbaugh 

8 comments:

Colin said...

I had the good fortune of being on the same flight to Milwaukee with Rep. Ryan last Thursday and took the opportunity to tell him to keep up the good work.

Scott Grannis said...

Nice to know he flies commercial!

djakel said...

I am a big Ryan fan, too. He has all the right qualities, especially courage. His Roadmap is a viable long term strategy to shrink a bloated government and deal effectively with entitlements. We need a leader who will buck the old political class, not someone who is already a part of it.

Paul said...

We need a Paul Ryan, but also need to have the Senate and House in solid GOP hands for the 2012 cycle or the Democrats will be able to block any attempts at implementing his roadmap and rolling back the damage Obama is unleashing.

Colin said...

Not only commercial, he flew cattle class.

Benjamin said...

Oh sure, there was no expansion of government that last time the Republicans wree in charge 2000-20006. We balanced the budget, tended our own gardens, and paid down debts.
The Red States, which have thrived on huge federal inflows of lard, began to become self-sufficient, refusing federal outlays in excess of their payments to DC.
L loved the way the R-Party strengthened our financial system, and had the economy creating 250,000 jobs a month until Obama took over.
I am even more encouraged that the Tea Party is now saying. "God is Invited to the Tea Party too."
Maybe we can look forward to creationism as science (a terrifc foundation for technological advances), and the stigmatizing pf gays.
Happy Days Are Here Again.

Public Library said...

"Do we still want our traditional American free enterprise system, or do we prefer a European-style social democracy"

Do we actually believe America has a "free enterprise system"? Or is it that we believe our government run system is superior to the European-style government run system?

It is difficult to name an industry in American not impacted/supported by the good 'ol US government policy.

Milk, agriculture, defense, oil, energy, automobiles, beer distribution, health care, and guns just to name a few. You name it, the lobbyist have a stamp smack-dab in the middle of it.

I certainly do not call that free enterprise or believe my vote is an ultimatum on Euro-style so-called socialism.

Paul said...

"Oh sure, there was no expansion of government that last time the Republicans wree in charge 2000-20006."

Compared to Obama\Pelosi they look like paragons of fiscal rectitude. Last deficit under unifed GOP control saw a $163 billion deficit. What is it now, Benji? What are Obama's projections?

"L loved the way the R-Party strengthened our financial system, and had the economy creating 250,000 jobs a month until Obama took over."

After inheriting the Clinton recession, the unified GOP oversaw several years of solid growth and low(compared to Obama) deficits. What happened in 2007, Benji?