Richard Ebeling emails:
I have a new article on the news and commentary website, “EpicTimes,” on, “Obama’s Dream of a Softer, Gentler Capitalism.”
During his recent trip to Argentina, President Barack Obama told a group of young men and women that the ideological battle between “capitalism” and “socialism” in the twentieth century had all been unnecessary and misplaced. The goal should be to take from both systems what seems good and practical and blend them together for something better than either one by itself.
This has been the ideal and goal for European social democrats and the American progressives for many decades – a “third way” of a regulated and managed market economy with a redistributive welfare state.
The fundamental fallacy in this political pragmatism is that what is created is not a “third way,” but simply an interventionist economic system that, on the one hand, reduces competition and consumer-driven production in the marketplace with heavy-handed government commands and restrictions that hamper entrepreneurial autonomy for consumer-oriented innovation and investment guided by the profit-motive.
While, on the other hand, the welfare state reduces and restricts citizens’ choices and liberty to determine their own needs, wants and demands for retirement, medical insurance and care, education, social interactions, and personal betterment, due to the usurpation of such decisions by a paternalistic government that imposes on the people what politicians, bureaucrats and ideological social engineers assert to be what is “good,” right” and “just” for everyone in the country.
Obama’s “third way” is a road to restricted liberty and reduced competitive opportunity. It is, in fact, an abandonment of freedom for command. It highlights why, contrary to what the president of the United States may say, it is essential to understand and defend the principle of individual rights and liberty, in all facets of human life and association, including in a truly free market economy.