A couple of weeks ago I took on a progressive blogger because of his attacks on Talk radio. The exchange quickly turned to economics. He said:
There is too much here to discuss in a comment response. If you are hanging your economic hat on Friedman, I’m sorry. He and his followers have been wrong in so many ways about his so-called “free market” theories. Friedman’s theories put into practice are directly responsible for worldwide dissolution and collapse of middle class working economies. The only reason his economics are still practiced is revisionist history and those in power profiting greatly from the outcome. Greed as the driving force – you are missing the point. Friedman has always misrepresented the work of Adam Smith – ignoring the moral imperative in his work. “Superior prudence,” Smith said, “is the best head joined to the best heart.” But over the years, economics instructors have edited out Smith’s “moral sentiments” — leaving only the impression that the “invisible hand” of free markets can magically convert individual greed into mutual benefit. Much ignored today is the fact that Smith was pro regulation – The purpose of banking regulations was to oblige “all of them to be more circumspect in their conduct, and by not extending their currency beyond its due proportion to their cash, to guard themselves against the ruinous runs, which the rivalship of so many competitors is always ready to bring upon them” (Wealth of Nations).
On the invisible hand comment Right from Smiths wealth of nations page 363,
By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain; and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest, he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.
Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do
this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which
you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this
manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of
those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the
benevolence of the butcher the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens. Even a beggar does not depend upon it entirely. The charity of well-disposed people, indeed, supplies him with the whole fund of his subsistence. But though this principle ultimately provides him with all the necessaries of life which he has occasion for, it neither does nor can provide him with them as he has occasion for them. The greater part of his occasional wants are supplied in the same manner as those of other people, by treaty, by barter, and by purchase.
On regulation page 112;
A regulation which obliges all those of the same trade in a particular town to enter their names and places of abode in a public register, facilitates such assemblies. It connects individuals who might never otherwise be known to one another, and gives every man of the trade a direction where to find every other man of it.
A regulation which enables those of the same trade to tax themselves, in order to provide for their poor, their sick, their widows and orphans, by giving them a common interest to manage, renders such assemblies necessary.
An incorporation not only renders them necessary, but makes
the act of the majority binding upon the whole. In a free trade, an
effectual combination cannot be established but by the unanimous consent of every single trader, and it cannot last longer than every single trader continues of the same mind. The majority of a corporation can enact a bye-law, with proper penalties, which will limit the competition more effectually and more durably than any voluntary combination whatever.
The pretence that corporations are necessary for the better government of the trade, is without any foundation. The real and
effectual discipline which is exercised over a workman, is not that
of his corporation, but that of his customers. It is the fear of losing
their employment which restrains his frauds and corrects his negligence.
Badger then goes on to say:
. . . As for your definition of fascism – to imply that progressive policies in any way reflect fascism is laughable. And by the way…the founders NEVER intended pure laissez faire capitalism. Our current state of corporate capitalist-dominated politics was one of their worst nightmares.
It is not my definition of fascism it is your fellow progressives that have made that distinction.
Of course you ignore the fact that it is the Progressives that took the money supply from the Department of Treasury and created a private corporation called the FED who they also gave control of the banks.
From the FED’s own page.
The Federal Reserve System is considered to be an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive branch of government. The System is, however, subject to oversight by the U.S. Congress.
In recent history the progressives passed the PACT Act under the guise of stopping the trafficking of cigarettes. it did nothing to reduce trafficking it was nothing more then a protective measure to protect the states that imposed abusive taxes on it’s citizens. With the added benefit of “nanny statism” Then we move on to The Main Street Fairness Act which has the same protectionist attitude as the PACT Act but applies it to sales tax. It ignores the fact that competition lowers cost even when it comes to taxation. Adam Smith even covers this.
That this monopoly of the home market frequently gives great
encouragement to that particular species of industry which enjoys
it, and frequently turns towards that employment a greater share
of both the labour and stock of the society than would otherwise
have gone to it, cannot be doubted. But whether it tends either to
increase the general industry of the society, or to give it the most
advantageous direction, is not, perhaps, altogether so evident.
The general industry of the society can never exceed what the
capital of the society can employ. As the number of workmen that
can be kept in employment by any particular person must bear a
certain proportion to his capital, so the number of those that can
be continually employed by all the members of a great society
must bear a certain proportion to the whole capital of the society,
and never can exceed that proportion. No regulation of commerce
can increase the quantity of industry in any society beyond what
its capital can maintain. It can only divert a part of it into a direction
into which it might not otherwise have gone;
It is quite lengthy but Joseph T. Salerno did a video called “Keynes and the “New Economics” of Fascism”