Monday, October 19, 2009

Stossel on Moore's Capitalism

What is capitalism? Viewers of Michael Moore's new movie, Capitalism: A Love Affair, might get the impression it's what we see going on today - As John Stossel puts it, a system of "businesses manipulating government and strong-arming Congress for bailouts." Moore condemns both activities, as he should, but guess what - that's not and never has been what capitalism is.

Toward the end of the movie, Moore says capitalism is irredeemably evil and "has to be replaced." With what? I assumed he'd say socialism, but instead his answer is "democracy."

This apparently means expanding "hundreds of worker-owned businesses" in the United States.

But since workers are already free to start businesses, what's his point? A more astute observer would show how government intervention—licenses, taxes, regulations—inhibits such businesses. . .

For two hours, Moore rails against reckless banks and government bailouts, but never once mentions the government-business partnership that created the conditions for the turmoil. The fact that America no longer has a genuinely free market is the unnoticed 10,000-pound elephant in Moore's room.

Stossel concludes: Moore's "own evidence suggests that the real answer is a separation of state and economy—stripping away Wall Street's privileges."

"In other words: Limit government's power. Let the free market work."

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