Posted tagged ‘Free Market Capitalism’

Drifting Towards Fascism

September 20, 2016

man drifting in a boat

First let’s define Fascism so we can begin at the same starting point. Fascism is an economic system where the state doesn’t own the means of production, but the state makes the rules that producers and consumers have to follow. There is a bureaucratic layer between businesses and politicians which plans the economy. It is crony capitalism on steroids.

Fascism places politicians and bureaucrats as the ultimate rulers aka decision makers. The individual has no rights or liberty except what the rulers say they have. Order comes from the state, (top down) not from the individual, (spontaneous order).

I saw a great chart (below) showing America’s drift toward Fascism, in an article titled, The Road To Fascism In Just Two Charts, at I have always thought economic systems fit on a line where at one end no government exists, and at the opposite end there is total government control. Where an economic system is placed on this line depends on how much government intervention exists, or put another way, how little governmental intervention exists.


An economy is what results when each individual is free to decide what to produce, consume, exchange and save in a world of scarce resources which have alternative uses. Simply put, you own what you’ve produced or what you’ve received in exchange for your production. It is your property and you have a right to do with it what you wish.

Production is the creation of wealth. Consumption is the destruction of wealth. Exchange is the increase of wealth as both parties place a higher value on what they received than what they’ve given up. Saving is the preference of consumption at some point in the future to consumption in the present. Savings is the basis for capital formation. Capital formation is what increases productivity. Increased productivity is the creation of larger amounts of wealth.

Each individuals decision on what and how much he will produce, consume, exchange and save according to what he  subjectively values in a world of scarcity is the essence of freedom.

In order to have economic freedom you have to have social freedom and in order to have social freedom you have to have economic freedom. In other words, economic freedom and social freedom are different sides of the same coin. Individuals are free to act. Each individual is responsible for the consequences of his actions if they bring harm to others or himself.

I have a quote by F. A. Hayek at the top of my web site. It is my favorite quote because it sums up the choice individuals have faced since the beginning of time:


Let’s take a look at the chart and see what it reveals.


Zero Government intervention into the economy starts at the bottom left of the chart and moves upward and to the right as Government intervention starts to increase. Zero Social Freedom starts at the top right of the chart and moves downward and to the left as the level of Social Freedom starts to increase.

Communism, socialism, fascism and democratic socialism are on the top right of this chart. They are economic and political systems that strangle individual liberty. Their very nature means intervention into, or control of, what is produced, consumed, exchanged and saved.

Anarcho capitalism, free market capitalism, classical liberalism and our America constitutional founding are on  the lower left of the chart. They are economic and political systems that strangle Government and allow individuals the freedom to produce, consume, exchange, and save as they see fit.

What exists today is the middle ground of crony capitalism, crony socialism and other forms of government interventionism. This is the utopian middle ground that elites think mixes the best parts of both ends of the chart. They know that free market capitalism produces great amounts of wealth as seen by our standard of living. But the elites don’t like the way the wealth is “distributed” and want to use the force of government to make this distribution  “fairer” according to their idea of “fair”.

The elites attempt to redistribute wealth differently than it would exist in the free market, creates incentives that ultimately decreases the wealth that is being produced. It divides us into groups that can be pitted against each other by political opportunists.

These statements by Ludwig von Mises tell us all we need to know about the above chart:

The issue is always the same: the government or the market. There is no third solution.”

The middle-of-the-road policy is not an economic system that can last. It is a method for the realization of socialism by installments.”

Anti capitalistic policies sabotage the operation of the capitalist system of the market economy. The failure of interventionism does not demonstrate the necessity of adopting socialism. It merely exposes the futility of interventionism. All those evils which the self-styled “progressives” interpret as evidence of the failure off capitalism are the outcome of their allegedly beneficial interference with the market.”


We are in the chaotic middle. Our choice is to move towards freedom and free markets. It is going to take a lot of time and effort to educate enough people in order to tip the scales toward freedom. Is the cost too high? It’s your decision.


Related ArticleCapitalism vs. Crony Capitalism, at

Related ArticleSocialism Sounds Great, at

Related ArticleWhat Creates Wealth? Freedom, at

Related ArticleWe Can’t Recreate The Garden Of Eden, at



Reaction To EpiPens Increased Price, Reveals Our Economic Ignorance.

September 1, 2016

SAINT LOUIS, UNITED STATES - AUGUST 25, 2016: Two EpiPen auto-injectors used for treatment of allergic reactions.

The angst over the recent price increase of the product EpiPen, reveals our economic ignorance. This economic ignorance in and of itself wouldn’t be a problem in a free market capitalist system. Unfortunately we live in a crony capitalist economic system, where more and more economic decisions are being made through the political process. Businesses are being forced to obey interventionist laws passed by Congress, on the one hand, and cave in to political shaming by ignorant consumers and politicians on the other.

When this point is reached, companies are incentivized to put their resources toward lobbying Congress to pass laws that favor these incumbent businesses. They also donate money to politicians and political parties which is like paying protection money to the mob.

All of these resources could have been used to satisfy consumer demand. But these companies have decided that these resources can best serve their interest if they are invested in lobbying government. This is not how free market capitalism works. This is how crony capitalism works.

The EpiPen kerfuffle is an example of how our economic ignorance has allowed politicians to place the blame for the price increase on Mylan, the producer of EpiPen. The blame should be placed on the very politicians who are doing the finger-pointing. Government intervention into the healthcare market over the last 75 years, culminating in The Affordable Care Act (aka. Obamacare), is what has caused prices to skyrocket. Let’s take a look.


EpiPen is a product that delivers a life saving dose of epinephrine to individuals who have severe allergic reactions to food, insect stings, and medicines. Lets look at the economic reality of how EpiPen magically appears to perform its life saving task.

As much as people want to think that healthcare is a right, they are literally dead wrong. Healthcare in general and EpiPen in particular, is an economic good. This means it is subject to the first rule of economics which is scarcity.  EpiPen just doesn’t appear out of thin air as if we lived in the Garden of Eden. In the real world, someone has to produce this product, and you don’t have a right to take what a person produces.

The people who produce this product have to be compensated for the cost of production plus a profit. If they can’t make a profit, they would cut their losses and stop producing the product. This is why prices are so important in a free market economy. Prices send information through the production process. Government intervention increases the cost of production, which in turn sends false information through the pricing system.


The Healthcare system was one of the most regulated industries before the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was passed six years ago. There is no true price discovery in our current healthcare system. This means information about which healthcare goods and services should be produced and in what quantity they should be produced doesn’t exist.

When third-party pays, whether it’s an insurance company or Government, prices are distorted. If you add the fact that insurance companies have to abide by the rules set by Government it is worse. Take a quick glance at this article, EpiPen Price: What To Know, at, to see how much Government intervention there is in the healthcare system. Government intervention is essentially an attempt at price-fixing. Price fixing distorts the information sent through the market.

Government has created the monopoly position that Mylan holds with EpiPen. Government regulations have made it more difficult for competitors to enter the market and produce an EpiPen like product. Scan this short article, Why The EpiPen Has A Monopoly (Hint It Is Not Runaway Capitalism), at, to see how Government planners created the monopoly position for Mylan that allows the price to soar.

Supply and demand chart drawn on a blackboard.


At a lower price more is demanded and less is produced. At a higher price more is produced and less is demanded. This is the law of supply and demand.

Government had artificially lowered the price, that people were paying for EpiPen, through Insurance mandates and Government subsidies. Because of the artificially low price, demand increased. When Auvi-Q, one of the other two producers of automatic injection devices for epinephrine, was taken off the market by regulators in October of 2015, overall supply was reduced. What happens when demand is increasing and supply is decreasing? The price has to go up to ration the scarce resource. Is this a good thing? It is neither good nor bad. It is just the reality of prices. Prices discovered through free markets not only coordinate supply and demand. Free market prices also reveal the scarcity that exists. But free market prices don’t create the scarcity.

Let’s look at the price of oil to understand what would happen if there were free markets in the healthcare system. When the price of oil was around $120 dollars a barrel, there was talk of oil going to $200 a barrel. But what happened. People started using less, demand started to decrease. At these higher prices fracking became economically viable. The supply of oil started to increase. Frackers started to find more productive methods of extracting oil from the ground. As supply increased and demand decreased the price of oil started to decrease. Because of these more productive methods, fracking wells could keep supplying oil at lower and lower prices. Because supply remains high and demand has just marginally increased, the price has remained low.

Even though Obama’s EPA took government land off-line for fracking, that didn’t keep fracking from happening on privately owned land. The free market pricing system worked to supply more oil to the market at a lower price. Bureaucrats in Government didn’t do this, free markets did. What does this have to do with the price of EpiPen?

In a free market the rise in the price of EpiPen would do two things. People would start using less. And companies would start supplying more. The price would eventually go down.

Because of Government intervention their won’t be new suppliers even at the higher price. They are being restricted from entry into the market by Government rules. Supply won’t increase like supply increased in the oil sector.

If Government and insurance companies subsidize the purchase of EpiPen, and Mylan gets bullied into lowering prices, their will be no true price discovery. False information about production and consumption will be sent through the hampered market. Their will be over consumption and under production of EpiPen. The more the planners plan the more their plans will not work.


Central planners, and people who vote for central planning, think that whatever is decreed, will happen. Unfortunately for them economic laws are more powerful than central planners mandates. Unless more companies are allowed to supply EpiPens, the artificially created shortage will continue. If the price is artificially kept below what it would be in a free market, demand will remain high. High demand and short supply means EpiPen will have to be rationed by bureaucrats in Government instead of by prices in a free market. Look at the waiting lines in Venezuela if you want to see what rationing by Government looks like.

The answer? Get rid of Government regulations and let free market prices work. Until people gain understanding about free markets, they will continue to get fooled by slick politicians, and we will remain in this political quagmire.


Related ArticleThe Economics of Healthcare vs. The Right to Healthcare, at

Related ArticleLets Look At Government Run Healthcare, at

Related ArticleThe Reality Of Obamacare, at

Related ArticleGruber Tells The Truth About Obamacare, at

“Save Our Jobs” From “Creative Destruction”

December 17, 2015

Does free market capitalism destroy jobs? Yes! The free market replaces jobs that it previously created with more productive ways of doing the same thing.  Joseph Schumpeter coined the phrase “creative destruction” to describe the dynamism and innovation that is unleashed under free market capitalism. Put another way the free market creatively replaces unproductive jobs with more productive jobs.

Think milkmen, blacksmiths, paperboys, along with cassette tape, vinyl record, and typewriter manufacturers. News papers and book stores. Think taxi cartel vs. Uber.

This 1 minute and 38 second parody, gives us an understanding of “creative destruction” that an economist could only dream of achieving in thousands of written words.


Excerpt from the video, “If we don’t stop progress how will anyone ever have jobs?


Related Article“CAR WARS” Return Of The Jitneys, at

Related ArticleGovernment Intervention Stifles Real Job Creation, at

Wind And Solar Energy Is Diluted And Intermittent. Which Means Higher Cost

October 26, 2015

Politicians and bureaucrats mask the real cost of producing energy from wind and solar when they;  1) “invest” your tax dollars in wind and solar companies. 2) give tax payer guaranteed loans to these companies. 3) use your tax dollars to subsidize the purchase of this energy.

On the flip side of the coin, they artificially drive up the costs of producing energy from coal, oil, and nuclear through regulations and taxes.


Excerpt from video, “In the entire world there is not one real or proposed independent free standing solar of wind power plant. All of them require backup. And guess what that backup is? Fossil Fuels.”


An economy becomes wealthier when it can produce more while using fewer scarce resources, time, labor and capital. Economies are fueled by energy. If Government continues to force us to use higher cost energy (read here) to power our economy, we are going to be less wealthy and prosperous. The green jobs that are being brought into existence by Government force, aren’t as productive as the jobs that will be lost when the fossil fuel energy sector is forced to shrink. Put another way, these green jobs wouldn’t exist in a free market because the free market always chooses the most productive activities. Less productive activities go away. The cost of these non productive activities will fall on the entrepreneur who made the miscalculation. He will be incentivized to cut his losses sooner rather then later. The incentives in our crony capitalist green energy industry are different. Since the tax payer pays the cost of the failure (read here), the losses will be allowed to go on longer. Resources, time, labor and capital will be wasted as well as tax payer dollars.

When will we quit putting our faith in politicians and bureaucrats when their policies constantly fail to produce their hoped for results. Our current crony capitalist system that weds Government and business isn’t free market capitalism. Our politicians want you to think it’s free market capitalism because they need a straw man to demonize. Once demonized, the only “solution” is more Government intervention. And the outcome of government intervention is the destruction of wealth; because scarce resources are not being allocated to their most productive uses according to consumer demand.

We have to rediscover the truth that moving toward free market capitalism and away from government intervention is the only cure for our economic problems. Free market capitalism has lifted billions of people out of poverty and is the only process that can keep us from stagnating and/or sliding backwards.

Related ArticleUnelected EPA Driving Up The Cost Of Food And Energy, at

Related ArticleFree Market Fracking Trumps Government Solutions When It Comes To Producing Energy, at

Related VideoThe Story of Electricity, 2 minute video by,

Milton Friedman Wins The Democrat Debate Against Hillary Clinton And Bernie Sanders

October 15, 2015

The first Democrat debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton seemed like a debate between Karl Marx and Fidel Castro. Sanders truly believes that Marxist socialism will work, and Hillary just uses the Marxist rhetoric to win a position of power. The real winner in the debate was Milton Friedman who, in the video below, knocks Bernie and Hillary’s free lunch rhetoric out of the park.


Bernie and Hillary tried to out do each other on what they will give away if elected. But, since Government doesn’t produce anything. It can’t give anything away unless politicians and bureaucrats try one or all of the steps listed below.

1)  They can force the person who produces the good or service to provide it for free.

2) They can confiscate money from citizens (taxes) to pay the people who produce the good or service.

3) If they can’t steal enough, they have to borrow money to pay the people who produce the good or service.

4) If they can’t do #2 or #3, they have to get the Federal reserve to print money to pay the people who produce the good or service.

Our Government has spent a little over a half a trillion (500 billion) dollars more than it has taken in taxes each of the last 3 years. These three years follow a three-year period in which it spent over a trillion more than it took in taxes in each year. So as you can see we have exhausted step 2 and are at full speed on steps 3 and 4.

Since no one will work for nothing when they have other options, step one is difficult to implement. Step two has its limits as revenue will start to decrease if taxes are too high. Step 3 syphons money from capital markets and moves it into consumption activities (which is what government spending is). If Government borrows too much, interest rates will go up, the cost of the debt will increase, and Government will have a hard time selling its debt. At this point step 4 will be implemented. The Federal Reserve will step in and buy U.S. T-Bills with electronically printed counterfeit money. Step four is how the Government can fund itself if 2 and 3 are maxed out.

These steps are not a part of a free society, they happen in a country that is heading toward a centrally planned Marxist society. If the government doesn’t own the means of production out right, it uses its force to control the privately owned means of production. This is where we are, and I think you can see the direction we are headed unless ‘we the people’ turn this around.

Related ArticleMilton Friedman, Moving Toward Serfdom, at

Related ArticleMilton Friedman: Market Failure vs. Government Failure. Which Has A Higher Cost? at

Related ArticleThe Essential HAYEK. at


Central Planners Hate Economics

August 26, 2015

F A Hayek

F.A. HAYEK The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.


Politicians get voted into office because they promise to use the power of government to ‘do something’ to fix fake ‘crises’. They try to blame the unfettered free market for every inequality or unmet need found in society. Politicians blame economics because it is an easy target since most people don’t understand basic principles of economics.

Economic reality puts a limit on the unlimited designs of planners. The first law of economics, scarcity, especially the scarcity of knowledge, sees to it that everything has limits. Economic laws don’t limit the planners plans. Economic laws reveal the reasons the plans won’t work but they don’t create the underlying economic reality.

Ludwig von Mises

LUDWIG VON MISES  – “Economic history is a long record of Government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics.”

Planners have charged their central banks to do away with scarcity by using electronically printed counterfeit money. It sounds plausible on the surface if you look at ‘that which is seen’. But we all know from reading Bastiat that ‘that which is not seen’ is more important. The unintended consequences of Central Bankers policies, of money printing and zero percent interest rates, are playing out right now for all to see. Wasted resources and capital consumption are two of these results.

F. A. Hayek – “It has already been suggested that it is not necessary for the working of this system (free market capitalism) that anybody should understand it. But people are not likely to let it work if they do not understand it.

Central planners condemn free market capitalism because it doesn’t produce perfect results, (which means it doesn’t produce their desired result). Free market capitalism is the best system for allowing individuals the freedom to pursue their desires. This individual freedom has lifted the masses of people to a higher standard of living. Is it perfect? Nothing that man does is perfect. It is the responsibility of each voter to understand basic economic principles in order to protect the free market from the planners who want to destroy it. Start now because your individual freedom to pursue your interests in a free market is under siege.


LUDWIG VON MISES  – “Many think that governments are free to achieve all they aim at without being restrained by an inexorable regularity in the sequence of economic phenomena….they maintain that the state is God.”

These quotes by Hayek and Mises came to mind as I was reading an article titled, Economics Is Dead, And It Is Being Killed Again, by Per Bylund, at here are some excerpts from the article.

“You have to applaud the anti-economics left for this rhetorical masterpiece. They have struggled for decades to sink the ship of economics, the generally acclaimed science that has firmly stood in the way of their anti-market and egalitarian policies, hindered the growth of big government, and raised obstacles to enact everything else that is beautiful to the anti-economics left. The financial crisis is exactly the excuse the Left has been waiting for. It is a slam dunk: government grows, Keynesianism is revived, and economics is made the culprit for all our troubles.”

“If this weren’t so serious, it would be amusing that the failure of Keynesian macro-economics (whether it is formally Keynes’s theory or post-Keynesian, new Keynesian, neo-Keynesian, monetarist, etc.) is taken as an excuse to do away with sound micro-economic theory to be replaced with Keynesian and other anti-market ideas. But it is not amusing. If most of the discussions heard are to be believed, the failures of central planning is a reason for central planning, just like socialism is a reason for socialism. The success of the market, on the other hand, is not a reason for the market.”

“…. the Left hates all that is economics. Because it points out that creating a better world through central planning, money-printing, and political manipulation is indeed impossible. The market is neither perfect nor efficient, but it is better than any available alternative. In fact, the unhampered market is the only positive-sum means available for human society. The market is indeed the only way of progress; all else is a step backward.

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Why Has Classical Capitalism Devolved Into Crony-Capitalism, by Charles Hugh Smith

September 16, 2014

In this article, Why Has Classical Capitalism Devolved Into Crony-Capitalism, Charles Hugh Smith, ( makes the point that the Elites, consisting of ; people in Government and central bankers, lesser institutions that are closest in orbit around Government and central banks, and organizations and individuals who are orbiting these lesser institutions, think the economy will eventually “heal itself” even after all they have stolen through zero percent interest rates, electronically printed counterfeit money, and Government debt. These three legs of theft are, quoting CHS, “crippling the market’s self-healing immune system: Price discovery. Thanks to ceaseless interventions by central banks, the price discovery mechanism has been shattered: want to know the price of risk? It’s near-zero. Yield on sovereign bonds? Near-zero. And so on. Prices have been so distorted (the ultimate goal of Central Planning everywhere, from China to the EU to Japan to the U.S.) that the illusion of stability is impossible without more intervention.”

Here are his six factors of how, “ market capitalism becomes state-cartel crony-capitalism, a Ponzi scheme of epic proportion...”

1. “Those who control most of the wealth are willing to risk systemic collapse to retain their privileges and wealth. Due to humanity’s virtuosity with rationalization, those at the top always find ways to justify policies that maintain their dominance and downplay the distortions the policies generate. This as true in China as it is in the U.S.”

2. “Short-term thinking: if we fudge the numbers, lower interest rates, etc. today, we (politicians, policy-makers, money managers, etc.) will avoid being sacked tomorrow. The longer term consequences of these politically expedient policies are ignored.”

3. “Legitimate capital accumulation has become more difficult and risky than buying political favors. Global competition and the exhaustion of developed-world consumers has made it difficult to reap outsized profits from legitimate enterprise. In terms of return-on-investment (ROI), buying political favors is far lower risk and generates much higher returns than expanding production or risking investment in R&D.”

4. “The centralization of state/central bank power has increased the leverage of political contributions/lobbying. The greater the concentration of power, the more attractive it is to sociopaths and those seeking to buy state subsidies, sweetheart contracts, protection from competition, etc.”

5. “Any legitimate reform will require dismantling crony-capitalist/state-cartel arrangements. Since that would hurt those at the top of the wealth/power pyramid, reform is politically impossible.”

6. “Understood in this light, it’s clear that central bank monetary policy—zero-interest rates, asset purchases, cheap credit to banks and financiers, QE, etc.—is designed to paper over the structural problems that require real reform.”



If you want to hear an interesting and in-depth explanation about the rise of crony capitalism, listening to Charles Hugh Smith’s interview with Gordon T. Long would be well worth your time ( it also has some great graphs and diagrams).

Related ArticleCentral Bank Monetary Policy Enables Us To Put Off Real Reforms, by Charles Hugh Smith, at

Related ArticleIs There Capitalism After Cronyism?, by Charles Hugh Smith, at