Capitalism vs. the Democratic Candidates
- 6 April 2008 by Author 0 Comments
Capitalism vs. the Democratic Candidates
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 04/06/08
Ideologically, Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama are hardly distinguishable. But what they are promising to do if elected president should shock the sensibilities of any freedom loving and tax-paying American.
With slight variations on similar themes, they advocate nationalizing the nation’s healthcare system (nearly one fifth of the economy), and nationalizing the oil companies by absconding with their profits. They denounce successful American enterprises like WalMart even though they do more good for the average pocketbook than the government does (I think they’re jealous). Their solutions call for more centralized control by the government that, due to the profligate spending of Congress, can’t balance its own checkbook.
Before we consider seriously these socialistic campaign promises, we need to think through the philosophy of the capitalistic system they so vocally and vehemently denounce.
The market economy has created unfathomable prosperity and decade by decade, century by century miraculous feats of innovation, production, distribution, and social coordination. We owe all material prosperity, all leisure time, our health and longevity, our growing population, and nearly everything we call life itself to the free market. Capitalism alone has rescued the human race from degrading poverty, rampant sickness, and early death.
The thousands of diseases that are now treatable and survivable are vanquished because of the tenets of capitalism that rewards successful research with financial success, which in turn is used as the capital to find even more solutions to human ailments. Yet Clinton and Obama denounce “big pharma” for their profits, and employ a class-envy populist rhetoric to garner support among the gullible, uneducated, and financially illiterate.
They do the same with “big oil,” denouncing them for their profits (approximately eight cents per gallon), while we pay increasingly higher prices for a commodity they have contributed to be as high priced as it is. Oil is the fuel of capitalism, providing distribution of goods and services, and personal freedom unfathomable just a couple of generations ago, and we can’t even access the oil that U.S. companies have a claim to. China and Mexico can access the oil in the Gulf of Mexico, but we can’t because Clinton, Obama, and those of like mind won’t allow us to tap our own resources, including the Anwar oil fields in Alaska. If they really cared so much about the high price of oil, they’d allow us to access what we have in our own backyard. Global demand is only going to increase, as India and China’s demand is increasing by double-digits every year now. Supply needs to increase to meet those demands, yet Obama and Clinton tie our hands preventing the increase of supply.
And speaking of oil, our two biggest suppliers are Canada and Mexico, and yet Obama is threatening to revisit and renegotiate NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) that facilitates trade with those countries, unencumbered by tariffs. What do you think that will do to the price of gasoline in the States?
I just had to laugh when a columnist earlier in the week said of the economy, “And as usual, the Democratic candidates have better ideas on the subject than the Republican candidate does. At the very least, Obama and Hillary are trying to come up with workable solutions.” The aforementioned proposals display at best, an economic naïveté, but at worst, spell destruction of certain elements of our capitalistic system. Their proposals for increased spending by the Federal government of nearly a trillion dollars, combined with their plans for “big pharma” and “big oil,” creates an unstable and uncertain future for the American economy that currently falters on the edge of a possible recession, but with Clinton’s or Obama’s recommendations, collapses under the weight of a Federal government that may never recover. Come to think about it, their proposals would increase Federal spending by about the same percentage as what two of our commissioners increased Bannock County spending this year. If they’re not all related, at least their detached-from-reality ideology of bigger and more expensive government is.
And how do Obama and Clinton propose financing that big of a spending increase? Bingo! More taxes! This would be humorous if it weren’t so frightening. They both voted for the stimulus package which returns $800 to $1,600 to each household this summer to stimulate the economy, so they obviously have at least a modicum of understanding that the consumer drives the economy. But the consumer can only drive the economy if he has the money to spend. Combine their proposals of increased income taxes, and increased capital gains taxes, and we all have less to spend, which means the economy under their direction would decline precipitously for years.
The solution to an economy that is slowing is never to increase the size of government, or taxes, or nationalizing or penalizing the great industries that make ours the economic envy of the world. If the economy matters to you, neither Obama nor Clinton will be your candidate.
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.