Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This is Not Free Market Capitalism


This will be short.  For decades, I've been an informal student of economic systems, and in particular, Free Market Capitalism.  From all I've read and seen, there is no such thing in the world today.  Perhaps in the days of Adam Smith (the 1700's) it existed, but no longer.  Even in the mid-to-late 1800's, during and shortly after the Industrial Revolution began, Free Market Capitalism was gone.  That can be shown quite easily.

1.  The great railroad barons, such as Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould, essentially were given large tracts of land on both sides of the rail tracks by the Gov't.  That's not Free Market Capitalism (FMC)...it's Crony Capitalism.
2.  The tycoon banker, J.P. Morgan, sometimes would lend vast sums of money to the Fed Gov't.  That's not FMC either.  That's also Crony Capitalism.
3.  The great steel entrepreneur, Andrew Carnegie, was known by his critics as the "Crony Capitalist".

Today in the USA, and all countries with an intrusive central bank, Free Market Capitalism does not exist.  The proof of that is simple.  When interest rates essentially are set by central planning bureaucrats in, for example, the Fed Reserve--- instead of by the Market--- that's not Free Market Capitalism.  The fact is, we have a Mixed Economy in the USA.  So do almost all "democracies" in existence, including the social democracies (or democratically socialist countries) in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe.  I'm not saying that's good or bad; it's simply a fact.

My point here is this:  I believe Capitalism is a great economic system, but Free Market Capitalism is no more.  I'm really tired of the so-called "Right" claiming they practice FMC (as opposed to "Socialism"), and the so-called "Left" claiming that most of our ills are due to "Capitalism".  Neither one is correct.  Some of what Big Business practices is Capitalism, some is Crony Capitalism (aka, Fascism), and some is Socialism.  The same is true of our Gov't.  As to the Left's claims, many or most of our ills are due to Crony Capitalism and super-huge companies that may as well be monopolies.  That means the Gov't (Republicans AND Democrats) is partially responsible.

We definitely live in a Mixed Economy.  For example, we do have some Capitalism (mostly in the SMALL Business sector), but we also have not only the Fed Reserve interfering with the Money Market, but we have the V.A. Health Care System (a good thing), as well...which is pure socialized medicine.  The patients go to Gov't clinics/hospitals where they are treated by Gov't employees who use Gov't equipment and Gov't-purchased medicines.  Except for a small co-pay, it's all paid for by the Gov't.

Capitalism is here to stay, but it's not Free Market Capitalism.  It's a mixture of this and that.  Even China is embracing Capitalism to some degree.  Russia is now Crony Capitalism gone wild.  So to those on the Right, I would suggest this:  stop complaining about Socialism; we've had some degree of that in this Land for a long, long time.  To those on the Left, I would suggest:  stop complaining about Capitalism; it works, we've had some degree of it for a long, long time, and the problem is Crony Capitalism.  If you know what that means, then you know that the Gov't is a big part of the problem.

Not only my opinion.  Be well

 

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