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A Capitalist Manifesto
The Wheel, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. ^ | 2009-02-16 | Kelse Moen

Posted on 02/17/2009 10:21:25 AM PST by rabscuttle385

A specter is haunting America — the specter of capitalism. From the boardrooms of failed bankers turned shameless mendicants, to the empty banter of the pundit class, even to that den of mediocrity called Capitol Hill, a voice long silenced is making itself heard, and not a moment too soon.

But we always hear that capitalism has been tried and failed, that this recession demonstrates the irresponsibility of the laissez-faire Bush administration, and that what we need now is more, responsible government intervention.

Where to begin? Well, a recent study by Walter Williams of George Mason University shows that between 1980 and 2007, government regulatory spending has increased from $725 million per year to $2.07 billion — close to threefold — while the Federal Register, a list of government regulations, reached 75,526 pages under George W. Bush, up from 71,590 under Clinton and 54,335 under Reagan.

On its front cover, Newsweek recently declared, “We Are All Socialists Now.” We are indeed — but what is this “now” business? Capitalism has never existed in America during my lifetime, and scarcely in my grandparents’ lifetimes, because capitalism is a system based upon the inviolability of private property, which it preserves for both practical and moral reasons.

It is practical because no one can make wise investments like someone who is directly impacted by the profits or losses that investment makes. Thus, individuals have an incentive to make prudent, sustainable economic decisions that government does not. For a recent example, look at what happened to the banking sector. The Federal Reserve pumped the banks full of easy credit to encourage more lending, which encouraged loans that the banks would have considered too risky to enter into with their own money. When the borrowers defaulted, who could be surprised?

But more importantly, capitalism is the only moral economic system. We condemn theft — the wrongful taking of another person’s property — when done by private individuals, but when it is done by government via taxation we say it is acceptable, that it is advancing some higher purpose. It is time to ask, with Shakespeare’s Cassius, “What meat doth Caesar eat that he has grown so great?” What makes the government free from the natural laws that bind the rest of us? The stark reality is that there is no middle ground between free-market capitalism and socialism, which is the legalized plunder of individual property. Either you believe that what’s mine is mine and yours is yours, or you believe, to some extent, in the right to theft as long as it’s done by the right people. Even if the government is allowed to take one penny from each citizen, the implication is that the government has the right to a share of your property, which it did not earn and which you did not voluntarily surrender. That is legalized theft. And that is why we have not seen real free-market capitalism in this country for generations.

At some time, perhaps during the New Deal, perhaps before, the American worldview became inverted. Whereas once we revolted against George III’s taxes, now our ire is directed toward individuals who “cheat” the IRS. Whereas once we realized that ultimate responsibility for our own lives resided within ourselves, now we look to some omnipotent bureaucrats to protect us from life’s harsh realities. In short, whereas once we were suited for freedom, now we are destined for slavery.

But there is still hope. Though the daily news is saturated with stories of bailouts, trillions of dollars in government spending, executive salary caps and socialized medicine, the capitalist tradition is slowly reviving. The long-forgotten Austrian school of economics, which holds that freedom is rooted to the idea of private property, has been gaining currency, especially with Ron Paul’s rise to prominence.

When I reread Paul’s book The Revolution: A Manifesto, his chapters on monetary policy and economics struck me as more prescient than ever. Everything he predicted last fall has been coming true, and not even the American government can hide that.

These theories are starting to take hold in unexpected places. Tom Woods’s book Meltdown, a free-market explanation of the economic crisis, became an instant nonfiction bestseller. On political websites, people are starting to talk about Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises again. Even the pundit Glenn Beck, who last year called for the use of National Guard troops against Ron Paul supporters, is starting to publicly come around.

Capitalists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains, and a world to regain.

Kelse Moen is a College senior from Sharon, Mass. He is president and co-founder of Emory’s Young Americans for Liberty.

TOPICS: General Discussion; Issues
KEYWORDS: campaignforliberty; capitalism; federalreserve; financialcrisis; govwatch; panicof2009; ronpaul; socialism; taxes; yal

1 posted on 02/17/2009 10:21:25 AM PST by rabscuttle385
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To: djsherin; bamahead

Ron Paul’s Young Americans for Liberty ping!

2 posted on 02/17/2009 10:22:04 AM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: rabscuttle385

Capitalism in America has been dead for a long time. At least that’s what I can say for Maine and most of New England.

3 posted on 02/17/2009 10:59:04 AM PST by mainestategop (MAINE: The way communism should be)
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To: Army Air Corps


4 posted on 02/17/2009 11:06:21 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: rabscuttle385

ping for later.

5 posted on 02/17/2009 11:54:59 AM PST by willgolfforfood
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To: rabscuttle385

6 posted on 02/17/2009 12:53:23 PM PST by ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas (I want to "Buy American" but the only things for sale made in the USA are politicians)
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To: rabscuttle385; djsherin; bamahead; murphE; Extremely Extreme Extremist; Captain Kirk; Gondring; ...

Oops, missed this one from earlier.

Ron Paul ping

7 posted on 02/17/2009 4:31:31 PM PST by djsherin (Government is essentially the negation of liberty.)
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To: djsherin; rabscuttle385

Thanks for the ping and the post...

8 posted on 02/17/2009 5:11:24 PM PST by dcwusmc (We need to make government so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub.)
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To: dcwusmc


9 posted on 02/17/2009 6:47:26 PM PST by KDD ( it's not what people don't know that make them ignorant it's what they know that ain't so.)
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Hey, how you doing? Where ya been? Haven’t seen you around the campus of late...

10 posted on 02/17/2009 8:05:34 PM PST by dcwusmc (We need to make government so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub.)
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