George W Bush: Capitalism is a crime against humanityI knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it, so I dug out my dusty old edition of Samuelson & Nordhuas, which I haven’t looked at since I took a year of Economics at Uni in the late 1980s. (A year was more than enough: who wants to drag S&N’s tome around campus when Plato’s Republic and The Communist Manifesto was so much lighter?)
And there it was on page 45 of the 12th edition:
“Like a master using carrots and kicks to coax a donkey forward, the market system deals out profits and losses to get how, what and for whom decided.”
I read on. On page 60 they say:
“As people’s desires and needs change… as supplies of natural resources and other productive factors change, the marketplace registers changes in the prices and quantities sold of commodities… There exists a system or rationing by prices.”
Even as a 19 year old living on the largesse of my parents, I understood this well enough to pass “General Economics’. So why does George W Bush not understand this? Isn’t he supposed to be a champion of the Free Market?
Would a champion of the free market say this:
"I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this, whether it be looting, or price gouging at the gasoline pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving, or insurance fraud.”
See the full report on the BBC.
Essentially what he is saying is that capitalism is a crime against humanity, because he describes the very market mechanisms natural to the capitalists system – and which come most emphatically into play during a humanitarian crisis as “breaking the law” – in other words, a crime!
"But... it's very important for the citizens in all affected areas to take personal responsibility and assume a civic sense of responsibility, so that the situation doesn't get out of hand, so people don't exploit the vulnerable."
Isn’t selling a commodity you own for the maximum price people are prepared to pay the American way?
Who will put this to Mr Bush? Why has he turned his back on the Free Market™ economy? Has be become a pinko commie liberal? Is the textbook too heavy to schlep around?
Or has he recognised on an intuitive level what social democrats have always known:
The test of a system is how well it stands up in a crisis. Is capitalism able cope in New Orleans and respond to the challenge?
Mr Bush doesn’t seem to think so.