Thursday, October 16, 2008

Elections are decided by promises and gifts

As an anarchist, I don't believe in the governmental system. I believe that it's a system of oppression, supported by theft. However, if we grant the premise that a representative or direct democracy is a fair system of government, we must still be disappointed with the manner in which this country vets its future leaders.

In last nights debate, there were questions about how much businesses should be taxed. There were questions about whether the solution to what some see as a “health care crisis” should be price controls or government subsidies. There were questions about how much oil we should import from other countries. No questions about individual liberty. No questions about personal freedom. No questions about private property. No questions about the role free people play in their own lives. What mattered to the moderator was whether or not the candidates were sorry about all the mean things they said about each other. This is how Presidents are elected under the current system.

We continued to hear about the global financial mess. What you may not have heard is that things aren't as bad as they would like you to think. Although still high, jobless claims have fallen, consumer prices for clothes, gasoline, and automobiles has remained flat, and where there is some economic turmoil, it has more to do with the weather than the financial climate.

Yet countries around the world continue to move towards socialism, putting more and more of the burden of their economies on the backs of their tax payers. Despite concerns that the global economy is going into a recession, the EU plans to impede economic growth by placing emissions caps on businesses in order to fight global warming. Those countries which have expressed very real concerns that such measures will only deepen the recession are quickly shouted down by President Sarkozy of France and other powerful voices within the EU.

President Sarkozy was the same person who blamed “laissez-faire” capitalism for the current economic crisis. He claimed we needed “a better regulatory system” to inject “a strong dose of morality” into the markets, yet he has recently increased the travel budget for himself and his wife in the coming year by 29%. His defense that, “this is not tourism,” seems pathetic in the face of his accusations that the free market is unable to self regulate. It would seem that it is once again government which is unable to self regulate its spending of public monies.

It is not that free markets are unable to self regulate. It is that they are not allowed to do so. Whenever these companies are faced with billions of dollars in losses, the government moves in to shore them up instead of allowing them to restructure or fail as necessary. Remember, if your money has real value, then that value still exists. When one business fails because of their own practices, the remaining businesses who made wiser choices and stayed in business will increase their market share accordingly. If there is a genuine demand for their product or service, there will still be one even if they fail. But when you bail them out, again and again, the results are predictable.

But don't worry, there's enough free money to go around.

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