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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Using free market language versus being a free marketeer

You just can't emphasize this enough: Never mind the words coming out of people's mouths, mind their actions. Because, uhm, I can say I'm a connoisseur of fine wines (here I'll prove it: "I'm a connoisseur of fine wines"), without being one (I'm not). Similarly, Republicans under Bush can (and have) said that they're small government, fiscal hawks, who love, love, love individual liberty, without actually doing anything to support those things.

So just how do we describe them? Do we focus on the words, or on the actions? When describing government under the Republican administration will we, like so many fools and idiots, call it a free market pro-liberty administration? Or will we, instead, focus on the growth in government and just call a kettle of rotten fish what it is? A putrid, rotting pile of fetid fish corpses? (Which is a metaphor for big government supporters, if you didn't catch that. Admittedly, it is hard to catch. But that's what I mean.)

The above is a prelude to this gem of a quote from Peter Klein, via Steve Horwitz (can you tell what I've spent the afternoon reading?):

"Bush and Paulson and Greenspan and their clique are “free marketeers” in the same way (to borrow from A. J. Jacobs) that Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant. They adopt the language, and some of the form, of market advocacy without any of the content."

I'm with Klein and Horwitz: The Republicans under Bush were a big kettle of rotting fish corpses. Now if only journalists and pundits would have the clear-sightedness to see that Republicans acted like big government Democrats during their turn as Kings of the Hill, we wouldn't have to put up with all this "deregulation and the free and open market caused the financial collapse" nonsense or the outrageous howler that "Bush's ideological commitment to markets prevented him from introducing regulations that would have staved off the worst in this market collapse" any more (Bush was to big government and new regulations what a fat kid is to Smarties).

Intellectual honesty: where did it go?

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on December 27, 2008 in U.S. politics | Permalink


I think Mark Steyn summarized Bush's administration best with his oft used analogy of GW as Tony Blair with a Ranch, a perfect embodiment of the "third way" Labour Party faction's direction.

Perhaps GW was, in his actions or lack thereof (non veto), acknowledging his slim (maximum) 50% mandate as a conservative and decided to rule from the mushy middle ensuring compromise and destruction of principles. Or maybe he, like McCain, valued the idea of bipartisan support for whatever reason (Washington Stockholm syndrome?). A lot of good it did him after he lost Congress to the Dems.

The acceptance of the great lie of Bush and laissez faire has more to do with the average intellectual deficit in economics. The perpetrators of such lies are either ignorant or consciously evil partisans.

On the measuring scale of bad Presidents, I believe the worst is yet to come.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2008-12-29 10:23:12 AM

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