Friday, 14 November 2008

Elephant in the Room

Bush Warns Against 'Too Much' Government In Markets...



The guy whose definition of fiscal responsibility includes increases in discretionary non-defence spending exceeding LBJ's retains any credibility as a fiscal conservative?

Who pushed for a government bailout of financial institutions, claiming that "a large amount of money is necessary to have an impact on our financial system?"

That people are still treating him - as well as Commissar Greenspan, who oversaw the government price-fixing monopoly in currency - as representatives of the free-market is further evidence for Roderick Long's thesis that conservatives have succeeded in conflating free-markets with their peculiar brand of corporatism and state control, and that this myth has become widespread because it has been encouraged by the left as an easy target, and been unchallenged (or rhetorically defended as the lesser evil, reacting to Naomi-Klein-esque histrionics) by classical liberals.

As David Friedman put it, a few weeks ago:

Someone had asked another Usenet poster:

"How do you feel about the line, "I want you to vote for me, because I support smaller government"?

I replied:

1. It gives me very little information about what he will do if elected.

2. But it does mean that, since he is pretending to be one of us, we will get blamed for what he does, even if it has nothing to do with the views we support.

Or, in the profound words of P J O'Rourke,
"The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it."

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