Many opponents of the current economic system of the United Sates are under the impression that it is laissez-faire capitalism; this is far from the truth. It is not truly capitalism and has not been for many decades. In fact, even in its purest form to date, the markets never reached true freedom in the United States. Over-regulation by bureaucrats who do not know anything about sustaining a profitable business has created a system that rewards failure and punishes success; the exact opposite of capitalism. The government is propping up failing companies and creating an economic atmosphere of higher taxes and inflation. The central planning of the Federal Reserve, Congress and the Treasury Department keep the market from being truly free in any reasonable sense that Adam Smith, the author of The Wealth of Nations and founder of Capitalism, meant it to be. We are witnessing the folly of the world attempting to pass itself off as benevolent wisdom.
Competition is the key to Capitalism. Once you destroy the competitive aspects of the markets, they are no longer free. This competition is often described as greed, but the Capitalist system is not based on swindling; if customers are not treated well or products are shoddy, consumers will no longer trust the swindling company. Free markets foster incentives for people to behave honestly, thereby enjoying big profits from satisfied customers. If a company isn’t conducting good business it will fail. When the Government decides that certain companies are too big to fail or should win regardless of their failures, the competition dies and so do excellence and striving for success.The recent government actions are an assault on capitalism because an unchecked government will always attack freedom. Capitalism is being blamed for the failures of our economic situation and many are calling for its replacement. The problem with this is that capitalism has not failed because it has not been practiced in its proper sense. The long road of increased government intervention in the markets has eroded the true laissez-faire spirit of the markets. So what has failed is a system more closely related to Keynesian economics. What our country needs is proper worship of the triune God followed by a return to true capitalism, with a strong emphasis on morality, to experience true prosperity.
The socialist systems of Europe are beginning to show real strain and the US is not far behind, as it has been progressively moving towards a similar system for decades. French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that the economic maelstrom that has captivated the world’s attention for the last 17 months is “not a crisis of capitalism” but, in actuality, a breakdown of a system that has “drifted away from capitalism’s fundamental values” (Koprowski, Sarkozy; Capitalism is Not the Problem, 2009). Many think that capitalism is under the microscope, being tested and discussed to determine the validity of its future, but it’s a straw man argument. Most Americans know little about Economics and even less about the real nature of Capitalism. Our system is not purely Capitalistic, Keynesian or socialistic. Few legislatures, let alone common citizens, know the difference. It’s being declared a failure so that different economic ideologies can replace its supposed dominance.
Looking back, economic downturns put in motion a tension between public and private sectors that set our nation’s course onto the path of tomfoolery we have now. When we fail to trust in the God of our fathers we will go our own way, and we will be destroyed. A housing bubble was created by bad economic policies and practices by the government, market managers and individuals. Instead of fixing what led to this specific downturn, it’s an economic free for all. Congress is passing bills outside its usual processes and setting new precedents whose effects have not been truly tested and cannot be ascertained.
In a crisis, the government will try to grasp after more influence in our private lives; more coercive power because “the jaws of power are always opened to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing” (John Adams). We can include on that list markets and the rational choice to spend our dollars as we see fit, because of the increase of taxes and inflation that will be needed to pay for the expensive new economic experiment we are embarking on. A thorough study and correctly applied Capitalism with a free marketplace is the best roadmap to prosperity.
Capitalism is not a magic formula. Free markets must be operated by free men. We must call on our Father in a spirit of repentance to reform our systems and markets. The greatest thing we can do is to raise our children to be wise stewards and to exercise their birthright; true liberty in the name of the Triune God.