Sheldon Richman points out that Obama’s recent State of the Union speech further eradicated any doubts about the President’s vision for our economy: corporatism.
The upshot? In Obama’s mind, the way to make America (the entity) — us — No. 1 is to have the central government coordinate economic activity, to set goals, and to construct incentives to carry out its objectives. We will do this. Hey, you! Back in line and keep quiet.
Behind the “U.S.A! U.S.A!” is an economy guided by a coterie of politicians, bureaucrats, and their colleagues in what is quaintly still called the “private sector.” Call it what you will, it is not a free market.
If we don’t get the analysis right, we won’t get the response right. Despite what some popular right-wing talk-show hosts claim, Obama is not pushing Marxism, revolutionary or otherwise. The threat is not from socialism in the sense of State ownership of the means of production, much less a proletarian uprising. Rather, he’s pushing good old American progressive-corporate elitism, or corporatism.
In other words, rather than allowing for the economy’s scarce resources to be allocated by the free, undistorted decisions of consumers and entrepreneurs voluntarily interacting millions of times a day; Obama and his ilk use the force and coercion of government policy in an attempt to direct resources to achieve their goals. Such a policy substitutes the preferences of a small political ruling class for the preferences of millions of unique individuals.
Here in North Carolina, we see a healthy dose of corporatism being implemented by our state rulers.
It always makes me chuckle when left-wingers accuse free market advocates of championing the evils of corporatism, all the while being the first ones to scream uncritical support for Obama’s corporatist policies.