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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Liberals Love Just a Little Bit of Capitalism

Ed Koch gave voice today’s liberal view of what capitalism means.

He wrote:

I deplore fascism, socialism and communism. I'm a believer in the capitalist system that allows you, subject to reasonable restraints and taxes, to use for your own benefit and that of your family your personal abilities -- the skill of your hands and the power of your brain.

Koch believes in subjecting capitalism to “reasonable restraints and taxes”. We all know that it is those restraints and taxes that are the rub. Because reasonability is in the eye of the beholder.

Koch explains his modification of the principles of Adam Smith and the original Liberals:

I also believe just as firmly in fairness, which requires us to help those who need government assistance. It's not fair that those with the necessary ability should be denied the opportunity to pursue a higher education because they were born into the homes of financially poor parents. The country needs their talents. It is simply wrong that people should suffer because the country’s legislators favor helping those already better off. They are so shameless they have even eliminated subsidies intended to help poor families with their heating bills. Consider how shameful that is when at the same time our government stands by without taking appropriate regulatory and criminal actions against oil companies and foreign countries that violate the existing anti-trust laws intended to protect American consumers.

“Fairness” to Koch does not mean equal opportunity. Fairness to Koch does not mean a worker keeping control of his income for the needs he foresees of himself or his family-both, immediate and into the future. To Koch and the liberals, “fairness” mean redistribution. But, we followers of Adam Smith recognize that needs of the lower income citizens is best handled by a free market that provides more jobs for better pay and a low tax system that rewards the hard work of all and provides the ability to grow faster from one’s position than in a regulated economy.

Koch reminds us of his liberal credentials by explaining that

So long as the 45 million Americans who are without medical insurance continue to find themselves more and more in need of medical assistance, we will be a nation without a conscience.

He ignores the real issue of whether any without health insurance have ever been turned away by a hospital when facing any imminent need.

Koch then complains

That our government prohibits the Social Security Agency from securing lower prices by using its immense buying power with bulk purchases as an instrument to affect prices is scandalous and demonstrates how special interests control the President and the Congress.

Koch invokes “President Theodore Roosevelt’s administration 100 years ago” whose anti-trust laws:

were intended to protect the people of our country from cartels and monopolies that gouge us everyday, most flagrantly today in the unbridled prices they charge for oil and gasoline. Capitalism that is fairly administered and subject to fair laws works wonders.

Koch’s arguments for just a little regulation, higher taxes and redistribution of wealth ignores his own fabled lifetime of living in a rent-controlled apartment in Greenwich Village, all the while earning enough to have paid market value for the space. Somewhere a family could have used that apartment, were willing to pay the market rental all the while Koch complained that families could not afford reasonably priced housing.

This lover of capitalism seeks massive price controls of medicines, gas and oil. Some one seeking price controls and price ceilings, high taxes, national health insurance, anti-business regulations such as enforced by TR and government redistribution of wealth cannot claim to like capitalism very much.

What would he propose if he hated capitalism?


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