Perspectives on individual freedoms from Ottawa, Canada's capital city.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The protesters might have a point? Really?
In the October 13th Ottawa Citizen, editor Andrew Potter makes a fundamental error of logic as he goes about criticizing the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters. While he correctly identifies the harmful philosophy of some of the world's socialist regimes, he suggests that the protesters should adopt mass social solidarity of they want to be relevant.
"There is a great deal of anger out there, and Wall Street is the right and proper target. The real problem for OWS isn't that the movement has no message or goals, it is that it does not have an adequate ideological language in which to express them."
In fact, it was not the virtuous aspects of Wall Street that have created the current economic problems, but the degree to which Washington has distorted the proper function of Wall Street. By creating an absolute monopoly on currency and then printing money out of thin air to spend on pet projects, politicians have distorted the normal market price signals beyond recognition and left cvapital to flow into all manner of senseless areas, where it naturally dies and painful death, baiting and then destroying real citizens wealth along with it. No rational businessman would have made the decisions that we have seen in recent years unless there were massive government pressures at work to encourage them. If they did, then in the absence of government support, they would have swiftly lost all their money, been fired, and likely never given another chance to destroy wealth.
Potter says: "
But there is another vocabulary at hand: that of the French Revolution. If life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has been exposed as a recipe for plutocracy, what about liberty, equality, fraternity? Fraternity - or more expansively, solidarity - is nothing more than the conviction that we are all in this together. Or if not all of us, at least the 99 per cent of the population that is coming to the growing realization that America is a rigged game."
He ignores that it is not life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that has led to the current situation, but rather the concepts of equality and fraternity as described by socialists. In the name of providing every American with an equal share of housing, rules were made forcing lenders to provide mortgages to those who would not qualify in a rational marketplace. When artificially low interest rate policy naturally persuaded Americans to borrow insane amounts of money and the natural consequence was financial ruin, the socialist cry is to borrow more, tax more and spend even more than the levels that created the ruin.
The part of America that is a rigged game is the part that is dictated by a control, tax, spend and borrow ideology. It is the fact that the levers of government power to interfere in the naturally free economy exist that allows and encourages pressure groups to compete for the ability to pull these levers. The proper solution is not to wrest control from the other group, but to remove the controls entirely so economic outcomes are determined by the sum of individual choices instead of the latest pressure groups. What is neede is to free people from the artibrary dictates of politicians and bureaucrats, not to co-opt the inheremtly flawed system of socialist economics.