Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Fallacy of the Libertarian Cause

I believe its society’s responsibility to provide for those who do not have the wherewithal to acquire adequate housing, food, healthcare, and education, but that means the government must step-in when and where society does not make adequate provisions.

Libertarians, conservatives, and others, claim these provisions, when legislated by government, amount to socialism. Those who believe this way should take a hard look at its definition.

In the Frontline documentary The Warning, Henry Kaufman, Dir. Lehman Bros., 1995 – 08, said, “Libertarianism means those who do well prosper, those who do poorly fail, and the market clears the transaction.” This is precisely the problem with libertarianism, republicanism, or conservatism: the pursuit of wealth.

Ayn Rand, in the same documentary, said there should be a separation between the state and economics. If there is a separation between the state and economics, as Ayn Rand suggests, without law and regulation, as Brooksley Born explains in The Warning, “There will be significant financial downturns and disasters attributed to this regulatory gap over and over until we learn from experience," as we found out with the 2008 burst of the Bubble. It is proof that market-based solutions don’t work, which Alan Greenspan belatedly admitted.

In his column for the Wall Street Journal, 'Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years, Stephen Moore recommended that the novel by Ayn Rand should be read by “every member of Congress and political appointee in the Obama administration. [If they had] I'm confident that we'd get out of the current financial mess a lot faster.” Well, if every member of Congress and political appointee in the Obama administration read Ayn Rand’s novel and acted on its proclamations as Stephen Moore recommended, we may or may not have got out of the current financial mess a lot faster, but I am absolutely certain there would be a great more pain for Americans.

The book, Atlas Shrugged, claims that liberals relentlessly pursue wealth distribution; that all of our problems have market-based solutions; that there cannot be political freedom without economic freedom. However, the problem is equality and justice should not be interpreted as wealth distribution; as we have experienced market-based solutions do not work; and in the end, there is no such thing as authentic freedom within money-based systems.

The problem with capitalist laissez-faire free market systems is money in itself, and presiding within it an unquenchable quest for profit and wealth that is intrinsic in capitalism. Since a capitalist concern is only for profit and the creation of personal wealth, they fail with “do-goodism,” as Stephen Moore expresses it, unless, of course, it’s in their best interest to do so. Despite their denial with the claim that “when profits, wealth, and creativity are denigrated in society, they [profits, wealth, creativity] start to disappear …” the fact remains that the innate capitalist mindset is completely void of understanding, compassion, or even recognition, for those who are homeless, hungry, indigent, or encumbered with infirmities.

The Proof of the pudding of the latter lies in Henry Kaufman’s very succinct matter-of-fact description of libertarianism, wherein there are no other qualifications than if you prosper there is financial success, and if you fail that’s too bad, the free market simply does not concern itself with anything other than profit and wealth. So, it therefore seems to me that a moneyless resource based system is the solution to these and almost all of our world’s problems.