The Moral Struggle For Free Enterprise

W ith each passing day, it becomes clearer that the changes that are enveloping our country represent an enormous transfer of wealth and control out of the hands of the private sector and into the hands of public “servants,” i.e., politicians. America was once known as the bastion of free enterprise, but those days are gone. Will there be a point in the not so distant future when the chickens come home to roost? They have already, one could argue. It certainly is clear that the serious recession is not about to be over—it can’t be over with official unemployment of nearly 10% and so-called U6* unemployment of about 17%, and when “discouraged workers” are factored in, over 21%. Unemployment is expected to remain high during the “recovery.”

*U6 includes official unemployment (U3), plus marginally attached workers (not looking, but want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the recent past), as well as persons employed part time for economic reasons (they want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule).

Then there is misemployment, of funds that is. Malinvestment—when the investments of firms are badly allocated due to artificially low cost of credit and an unsustainable increase in money supply—continues to divert capital into blind alleys, and the economy has gone the way of postal “efficiency” with banks, insurance companies, and automobile factories now controlled and run by government or labor unions. Undoubtedly we can’t rely on the judgment of the current political caste to rescue us; both political parties concur on the same old . . . same old . . . tired solutions. Lawyers or not (and most of them are), their knowledge of economics, not to mention morality, is negligible.

“Morality” Gun

Morality? What’s that have to do with anything? Words spoken (and seen on video) by the Manufacturing Czar, Ron Bloom that “political power grows out the barrel of a gun,” is a testimony to what’s wrong with that kind of power—compared to the peaceful power of the market place—and it impels us to reflect that it is at the point of a gun that morality ends. That’s because morality is relieved of much of its meaning when the freedom to act is no longer possible.

Things to Come

There is no way that anyone can foretell the future, but ideas have consequences; bad ideas have bad consequences and good ideas have good consequences. America was born out of the struggle for freedom, the freedom from political power. When it achieved its freedom from England, it was good. When America forces everyone to have medical insurance, it will be a bad day.

By the way, the unavailability of swine flu vaccination, as of this writing, is of tragic proportion, because the 2009 swine flu is intense almost everywhere in the U.S., far earlier than usual. Last week there were just 14 million doses on hand, despite initial predictions that as many as 120 million would be ready by mid-October.

What we really have with the scandal of the vaccine shortage is not the failure of free enterprise. It’s quite the opposite, with the government dictating the price, having driven most manufacturers out of the vaccine business, and managing the situation. Consider this the first example of how well universal healthcare will work.

Live long and prosper,

Will Block

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