Hoorah for Capitalism

Great article in today’s Daily Reckoning by Bill Bonner entitled “Hoorah for Capitalism!”

Bill has a unique rambling style, and he ties it all together at the end.  Here are some choice bits from the article.

‘Capitalism has failed,’ they say. ‘We need government to fix the problems…’ The rich hate capitalism because it threatens to take away their money. The poor hate it because they think it keeps them from getting any money in the first place. And everywhere you look, the chiselers are offering bailouts, boondoggles and bamboozles. With so many people trying to improve on capitalism, it’s a wonder they’ve never come up with something better.

Think about it this way,” says Ms. Moyo, “China has 1.3 billion people, only 300 million of whom live like us, if you will, with Western living standards. There are a billion Chinese who are living in substandard conditions. Do you know anybody who feels sorry for China? Nobody. Forty years ago, China was poorer than many African countries. Yes, they have money today, but where did that money come from?

It didn’t come from bailouts, she points out. And it didn’t come from anti-capitalist claptrap-babbling demagogues. Russia, too, prospered only after it sent the Bolsheviks packing. Gorbachev introduced his perestroika program in June ’87.

In the control group, meanwhile, Americans made their own anti-capitalist mistakes. The central bank lent money at artificially low rates – distorting the value of all capital assets. Tax policies, government-backed lenders, and government’s banking regulations stimulated the housing bubble. And the use of the dollar as an international reserve currency created what was effectively an all-night party with an open bar. Instead of having to settle up in gold, as they did up until 1971, the U.S. could pay its bills by emitting more pieces of green paper. Then, local economies had to put out great quantities of their own paper money just to keep up. This liquidity created a series of bubbles…leading up to the great bubble in finance and housing that blew up ’07-’08…

“Today, it’s America that must have a perestroika,” says ex-Soviet boss Michail Gorbachev. “You don’t have to be a Nobel Prize-winning economist to understand that it’s not normal that the country with 20% of the world’s GDP consumes 40% of the world’s resources.”

Yes, Gorbachev is right about a number of things. The western, capitalist economies are in the midst of their own perestroika. They are being restructured. But not by the world-improvers. Instead, they are being restructured by capitalism itself… Leave capitalism alone and it will do the job far faster and far better than the meddlers could ever do.

I mentioned this the other day when I posted Less than nothing.  Get the government out of the economy and things work out just fine.  Entrepreneurs find a niche and create wealth, investors find productive uses for their surplus production (capital), and dumb people lose money – and blame everyone but themselves.


%d bloggers like this: