A sunny future for capitalism?

by Christine Hall on October 24, 2008

in Bailout Watch

Strangely, Hudson Institute scholar Irwin Stelzer seems to forecast a sunny future for capitalism in a DC Examiner op-ed today. Stelzer writes about the current financial/bail out crisis — the one at which Congress recently threw some $700 billion of money earned by the American people. The one that now has the federal government as owner and investor in some major banks and lending institutions. The one that is likely to prompt further regulatory and bail out efforts in Congress. So, I don’t see Stelzer’s point that the “capitalism that will emerge from our current trials will be a New Capitalism, not socialism or some other ism.” Moreover, the rhetoric in the public arena has grown decidedly more hostile to economic freedom (i.e. capitalism). Just this week, for example, USA Today editorialists blamed the ongoing fiasco on the “work of greedy Wall Street types.” No mention of the perverse incentives set forth by government regulations, incentives that allowed those Wall Street types to take financial risks that would ultimately be born by taxpayers. At beyondbailouts.org, CEI has partnered with the National Taxpayers Union and other free market groups to make the case that capitalism hasn’t failed — the so-called “mixed economy” has — and sound the alarm that what we will likely end up with is, in fact, not a “New Capitalism” but another round of the disastrous New Deal.

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