Friday, September 26, 2008

The Free Market

Sept. 26, 2008

To the Editor, Tyler Paper

Alexander Hamilton must have been one of the first human beings to read Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, the "free market Bible"; we don't know, nor do we know how many times he read it from it's publication in 1776 until Hamilton was sworn in as the first Secretary of the Treasury in 1789. That he believed in the principle of the free market is, however certain and in successfully promoting the establishment of the First Bank of the United States as a private enterprise with private bankers in charge of the nation's commerce and money supply he started the great American capitalistic juggernaut, the envy of the world. The world may not be so admiring of late.

Neither Hamilton's wisdom nor Adam Smith's has been questioned by those in charge of the American government except for Andrew Jackson who "sued for a divorce" between the American government and the Second Bank of the United States and was granted the same. Jackson was a populist President and believed the government should not show favoritism to the rich to make them richer at the expense of the common people.

Perhaps the time has come to question both Hamilton's and Smith's wisdom of free trade, free markets, supply-side economics, Reaganomics, deregulation, privatization, trickle down economics, Laissez-faire, or whatever label one wishes to use to describe the present economic system of the United States where the bottom line displaces the view to do the moral thing in all circumstances.

The truth is the free market shouldn't be allowed to be "free", that is, free from doing the right thing. Those who ask the masses to trust them to be alert to the "welfare" of the People should never be trusted. When it comes to making money, no one can be trusted to place the common good above personal interest. Our times are characterized by

the claim that it is best to turn business loose, trust them to always do the right thing, everyone will benefit! Everyone will get a piece of the pie! No! That's a lie!

Human nature being what it is, individuals, businesses, banks, all human endeavors must have requirements to do the right thing. Rules must be made and enforced. The reluctance of the American people to make this requirement of their politicians and of commerce has now brought the entire world to the brink of financial disaster not to mention the potential suffering of our own People.

The hard learned lessons of the other "great depression" have apparently be lost and the resulting complex safeguards have been steadily dismantled replaced with a spend now; pay later mentality. The present bailout talk describes the "tax payer" as picking up the tab. Not so. The government just prints the money and no one pays more or less in taxes as a result of trillion dollar wars or trillion dollar bailouts. The idea of fusing paper, ink, and thin air to create billions upon billions of dollars with value is absurd and is as offensive to hard working people as the cooked books of ENRON.

The free market era is over. Working class Americans paid dearly. Perhaps the government should now focus on it's Constitutional duties of watching out for the welfare of it's People.

Judson Malone

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