Sunday, September 12, 2010

Retreading Classical Liberalism

Capitalism, defended only partially by the Right by now, needs some help.  If Republicans are to stand for the free market, then there is a huge opportunity to reframe many platform discussions and provide for political success.  The answer is a relatively simple one of strategy, channel management and marketing.

First, the Right has abdicated the role of morality to the Left.  It has done so on many fronts, but nowhere so obviously than with the poor.  Perhaps it is because the Right does not itself understand capitalism.  Even when the Right reformed welfare, all the public heard was how it saved money.

Socialists see the poor as the inevitable loser in a class struggle with rich capitalists, and therefore victims of an unjust society.  Capitalists categorically deny that assertion.  Capitalists see the poor as a terrible waste of human potential, overwhelmingly beset by victimology, unhelpful behaviors, emotional stagnation and most importantly in the welfare state deprived of self-respect by the very government incentives and policies supposedly designed to help them.

Capitalists should take the morale stance; that individuals’ actualization is the natural goal of capitalism.  This is true because free markets are the best avenue to provide humans with choice, which is the only way to maturity and actualization.  Socialism believes it can eradicate the risk of choice or circumstance when it is a prerequisite of creativity and evolution.

Therefore helping people to overcome their behavioral or emotional issues; helping the person, not their victimology, is the only way to win the war on poverty.  This approach teaches people to cope, to overcome, to fish, rather than forcing them into idleness.  It is what parents, extended families, close friends, and clans have been doing since man began walking on two legs.  It is a much more difficult approach than a faceless bureaucracy, demanding more innovative and disruptive solutions, but if capitalists are to face the reality of the welfare state, at least we can suggest solutions that are in keeping with our precepts.

The Right also lost their argument on illegal aliens.  They should have.  It is unrealistic and economically unsound to believe moving 15-20 million people out of the USA without causing any amount of disruption.  The argument for capitalists is that the government in a welfare state must secure the border.  Until it can prove to do that simple task, there is no use in talking about amnesty or eviction.  When the house is flooding, you must shut the water off before you can deal with the mess.  Even Spanish Americans respect such a position, most fundamentally because they went through the system the right way.

The Right has a knee jerk response when it comes to business.  They are viewed as apologists for big business and special interests.  Capitalism demands all special interests be accorded an inhospitable response.  This includes unions, pharmaceuticals, banks, trial lawyers, and any other special interest groups who through their lobbying seek to gain preferential treatment in the legislation and tax laws.  Our latest recession, totally manufactured by a coalition of the banks and government bureaucracy at the Fed and Fannie and Freddie, must stop.  Any capitalist who treats all special interests as undesirable will immediately gain the right and a great deal of the middle, while taking away much of the Left’s arguments which they hide behind.

By now it is long past time that capitalists decry the work of the Fed on behalf of the poor.  Inflation is the most terrible, life robbing tax the poor and middle class can experience.  Further leveraging the already leveraged banks by monetizing the debt is first and foremost impoverishing the nation.  Denigrating the dollar (inflation) is incredibly regressive.  It must stop, especially given the 15 and 20 year forecasts of the myriad of paradigm changes we face as a world.  Second, the leverage of the Fed and banking is ensuring recessions, causing the Great Depression and every one thereafter.   Bankrupt, poor and governed by large static socialist special interest bureaucracies is no way to face unheralded change.

Education can be attacked in the same way.  Today’s children will change jobs every 2 years and work in companies that have not yet been created doing work that has not yet been designed.  At the same time our education system is on a course to bankrupt us even while scores are dropping out and we require even longer years till graduation.  In the private sector the educational monopoly would long ago have disappeared.  We must allow innovation of the education system if we are to meet tomorrow and fulfill the capitalist goal of individual actualization.  No monopoly or approach based on equality can do that where ‘equal’ has been morphed to mean ‘the same.’  If we can not as a society appreciate each other's strengths as unique while still seeing the value in each person without treating everyone the same, then we are lost.

The internet has changed the world, but it is slow in changing politics.  Any politician hoping to make a splash or a material difference must utilize viral and swarm tactics on the internet.  The collaborative and communicative power of internet is usurping not only journalist power, but the power of Washington.  While the Left’s message is negative and ultimately distasteful to most Americans, a simple clear message of individual actualization through capitalism has not been given or understood for over a generation.

The Right has also given the military a free pass.  Any lieutenant or higher, especially generals, have all told me the military budget could be slashed by at least a third while increasing military effectiveness and taking better care of the troops.  The issue is the special interests of politicians.  We are bankrupt.  And we have no place for special interests or inefficient policies.  Get the politicians out of the military.  Let the military fix itself.  Ditto health care.

Ditto the auto industry.  Given market position, the café laws themselves almost guaranteed GM’s bankruptcy given their market position.  It is government that is bringing down the country.  It is not the solution.  It is the problem.  We are regulating ourselves into oblivion, and we are headed for disaster.

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