With friends like these, capitalism doesn't need enemies
These are grave times for the Republic. America has unwittingly elected a president with roots in the Hard Left, whose mentors and models are hard core Marxists.
When he takes office, the mask comes off. He's going to replace our free-market system, that made American prosperity the envy of the world, with a European-style socialism, where the government micromanages the “commanding heights” of the economy and subjects our sovereignty to the rule of unelected international bodies unaccountable to our constitutional limits on government power.
Oh wait, George Bush already did that.
Earlier in Bush's career, he engineered the Medicare prescription drug benefit, originally projected to cost merely billions. It didn't take long for those estimates to rise into the trillions. Oops!
Then there's the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, authorizing the United States Secretary of the Treasury to spend up to US$700 billion to purchase “distressed assets.”
“Distressed assets,” is government-speak for “bad investments.”
I'd like to announce to my readers that I'm opening an investment firm selling distressed assets. I can be reached care of the T-R. Please be patient if you can't reach me right away due to the deluge of phone calls from eager customers.
And now, Bush has gone and done something at the G-20 economic summit that's probably not on most people's radar, because it involves high-finance stuff that's kind of dense for those of us who aren't accountants or investment bankers.
What happened was, Bush agreed to subject American regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, to the supervision of a European entity called a College of Supervisors. They'll examine and critique our regulatory standards, demand changes they feel are necessary, and tell them what they think should be done about things like executive compensation and investment practices.
I'm getting outside my area of competence here. I can't tell from news reports how much power over our economy has been ceded to the European Union, or what the likely consequences will be.
What I can say is, our regulatory bodies will be taking advice from the economic managers of a federation of countries that can't arrive at a constitution acceptable to a bare majority in any given country, has a worker productivity rate at least a third less than America, and accepts as normal for good times an unemployment rate we'd consider a recession if not a depression.
They also have a crippling debt load much like ours, which they accomplished while maintaining minuscule armed forces most of our our state National Guards could whup in a fair fight, with a little help from the Boy Scouts.
Just before that G-20 summit, Bush delivered what some thought was the most eloquent speech of his career. Not a long list to be sure. Bush doesn't do eloquence, as even his most loyal supporters agree.
In it he defended capitalism to the leaders of the developed world, and urged them to "fix the problems we have rather than dismantle a system that has improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world".
I agree. I've lived and worked in countries making the transition from socialism to market-oriented economies, and believe me it's something to behold.
So what the heck is Bush doing? He doesn't even have to do it for political expediency. The measures are tremendously unpopular, and he's a lame duck president anyway.
It is seldom we see such a disconnect in what a person professes to believe, and what he does – even for a politician.
But with friends like this, capitalism doesn't need enemies.