01 December 2008

Deliver us from evil, O Divine State

In this column, Marie Cocco tells us the government (the not-so-federal government, naturally) must fix the social safety net. Then, we will be free from fear, in accordance with some provision of the Constitution. (I'm sure it's in there somewhere.)

There will be no freedom from want. The only thing we might now hope for is freedom from fear. Even that is a distant state of mind.
Yes, it is a distant state of mind. And just think: "And we aren’t deep into this recession yet. Economists believe that unemployment will climb to 8 percent or even 9 percent next year."

Goodness! That's near the Great Depression levels of, well, 25 percent in 1933, 17 percent in 1936, and 19 percent in 1938. (Admittedly, those figures are lower when adjusted for the fact that the they include those on works programs like the WPA.) When we're deep in this recession we'll have unemployment of 8 to 9 percent. Wow. That's deep.

We really do need a new New Deal.

Freedom from fear. She probably believes in freedom from fear. She also probably believes in a government which can deliver her from evil (the source of fear).

Mona Charen points out that when they lose elections, they ask why. They don't cry, "Foul" and blame people. (Here.) In the coming years, she says, conservatives need to defeat liberals on healthcare; and then shore up the traditional family. And right there is the problem with conservatives: they don' t mind employing the power of the state (by which we mean, of course, the un-federal government), whose power they want to limit, in advancing their agenda. I have a problem with that, even when the agenda is one I can get behind.

[M]any conservatives are genuinely concerned about family disintegration or dysfunction and cultural decline. I am thinking here in particular of the conservatism represented by Patrick Buchanan and his movement. Buchanan's conservatism is by no means as different from that of the conservative Republican party establishment as he and his followers fancy themselves. In one decisive respect their brand of conservatism is in full agreement with that of the conservative establishment: both are statists. They differ over what exactly needs to be done to restore normalcy to the U.S., but they agree that it must be done by the state. There is not a trace of principled antistatism in either. -- Hans-Herman Hoppe, "The Intellectual Incoherence of Conservatism," here(emphasis mine).


Krauthammer on the dangers of a politicized economy. Here. The importance of Krauthammer is that he explains, ever so briefly, how we do not have a free market economy:


Three political events: Paulson's weekend Citigroup bailout; the official rollout of Obama's economic team, Geithner and Larry Summers; and Paulson quietly walking back from his earlier de facto resignation by indicating he would be ready to use the remaining $350 billion (with Team Obama input) over the next two months.


That undid the market swoon -- and dramatically demonstrated how politically driven the economy has become.


We may one day go back to a market economy. Meanwhile, we need to face the two most important implications of our newly politicized economy: the vastly increased importance of lobbying and the massive market inefficiencies that political directives will introduce.

The only troubling thing is that Krauthammer seems to imply that this move from free market economy to political economy was rather recent.

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James Frank SolĂ­s
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 22 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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