As I’ve stated many times, I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. I have issues with each party (not the least of which is how effectively they jointly exclude any real alternatives). However, as I’ve also stated, I more often favor Democratic politicians than Republican ones, for several reasons, generally having more to do with my objections to the Republicans than support of the Democrats.

First and foremost, the deeply-embedded conservative social agenda of the Evangelical Right, who form much of the Republican Party, lacks compassion, is not empirically or logically supportable, and is destructive to liberty and peace. In addition, this agenda is anachronistic, elitist, anti-science, and prejudicial. I exclude the abortion debate from my objection to the implacable Republican social agenda because, even though I am and have always been pro choice, it’s not hard to understand how someone could look at abortion as murder. Obviously, I personally don’t think it is, but I can understand and respect the logic of anti-abortionists (minus invoking religious justification for this disagreement, that is). In any case, it baffles me how the Evangelical Right can comfortably rationalize vehement hatred of the Islamic world, which they claim to justify in part because of the fundamentalist extremism of Islamic jihadists (who are a minority of Muslims), without recognizing that implementing the Conservative Christian social agenda into law constitutes a large step toward the same kind of theocracy and ideological extremism that Islamic extremists are reviled for. And it entails all the same dangers. This is inherently self-contradictory, and I won’t knowingly support such destructive and illogical thinking, especially as it applies to public policy. We can all see what religious rule does to countries governed that way, as well as to international relations with these countries, yet somehow many otherwise well-meaning folks persist in the fallacious belief that ruling our own country with our own religion would be different.

The second reason I can rarely favor Republican politicians is their clear and almost uniform belief that profit trumps all other things, that the pursuit of profit justifies anything you have to do to get it. A healthy, competitive economy based on people doing well for themselves through talent, effort, and ingenuity I can fully support — but not if “doing well” means refusing to take consequences and empirical data into account. For example, sacrificing a viable, sustainable environment in which to live and which we can bequeath to our descendants is not an acceptable price to pay for comfort, luxury, and this quarter’s or this generation’s bottom line. Ironically, it’s also not good for long-term business, but that argument seems to fall on deaf ears with most Republicans. In fact, the Republican Party is so gung-ho for profit that practitioners of this philosophy often simply reject clear data if the data seem to oppose their idea of what’s good for business. Witness the preposterous “debate” about Global Climate Change perpetuated by Republicans — and, for similar reasons (meaning that they consider it a threat to their non-empirical, presupposed notions), the equally preposterous rejection of Evolutionary Theory by the Evangelical Right.

The third reason I can find so few Republican politicians to support is war. It’s debatable why, but Republicans are obviously pro-war. They themselves claim not to be pro-war per se, but rather to support a “strong defense.” Certainly violent threats to our security as a people exist, and we must take reasonable steps to minimize these threats. But, continuing to support a trillion dollar Military Industrial Complex — in part by funding invasion and occupation of other nations, and in part by funding development and production of weaponry that largely fails to suit the defense challenges we actually face — makes no sense and damages us as a nation. It also diverts focus and funding from better uses for them. But, this trillion-dollar defense expenditure does serve the profit-above-all objective of Republicans, albeit in a wildly destructive, irrational, and artificial way. And, of course, it is the mega-corporate profiteers that comprise that industry who profit, not the average citizenry. We need to realistically assess the threats we actually face and address these with an appropriate and economically sensible defense strategy. I haven’t seen prominent Republicans willing to do this.

The fourth reason is simply that so few Republican officials serve their terms in office in accordance with their own stated principles. Politicians in general fail in this way, at least to an extent, but Republicans (especially neocons) seem to take it to the next level in terms of how far they deviate — and yet, ironically, they violently criticize those who hold theoretically different points of view.

However, there are several things I tend to agree with in the Republican Platform *as presented* (but rarely practiced). Certainly not the narrow, medieval social agenda, and certainly not their idea of a “strong defense,” since it’s dramatically wrong-headed, badly applied, and comes at the expense of nearly everything but profit. But, the parts about individual liberty and fiscal responsibility, though vaguely stated and rarely actually implemented, make perfect sense. I am also pro free-market capitalism in the ideal case, much as I would be pro anarchy in a world of innately ethical, wise, and honest people. But, just as we must compromise perfect and absolute individual liberty with laws and police because people are, in fact, imperfect, we have to compromise the ideal of an absolute free-market economy for the same reason. Now, it is certainly a profound challenge to determine how and in what ways we need to compromise these ideals for the sake of the common good, but to me, this is where the debate should be.

Below is a link to a video depicting a lecture given by a stock broker named Peter Schiff, a proponent of free markets. His assessment of the causes and remedies of our economic crisis contains a lot of what sounds like good sense to me. He argues, in essence, that the basic problem arose from the government creating a situation where it needed to regulate itself but failed to. He has a very libertarian perspective, and I don’t agree with all of it, but as I said, much of it makes sense to me. Of course, I still argue that the basic, systemic problem is the combination of our collective worship of the profit-above-all paradigm and our religious devotion to the idea of boundless economic growth, which is impossible. And I think part of Mr. Schiff’s argument supports this idea. What do you think?

Why the Meltdown Should Have Surprised No One

Peter Schiff

Peter Schiff

42 Responses to “A Free Market Argument”

  1. kraimadduc says:

    I say we have a super bowl $$ bomb, buy spots during the super bowl, and photoshop Ron Paul throwing td passes

  2. We are talking about this paper by the CBO. There’s a lot of disagreement over the crowding out effect. The treasury view has been debunked. If the private economy is depressed, government spending doesn’t cause crowding out. According to CBO, government spending is more effective and we were talking about the CBO remember? Welfare is almost better than infras. spending, because poor and unemployed have a high marginal propensity to spend, which means immediate stimulus.

  3. wilcocker gillmanne says:

    Rick Perry doesn’t even know who Rick Perry is. He has completely lost his soul in all his lies and cronyism. He is a man with zero compassion and empathy for others and he would be a disaster in charge of a nation. Sad thing is, Obama is a disaster too. Are we doomed as a nation? Even though Mitt Romney isn’t the right man either, he is far better than our current chief moron and the sociopathic Perry. Buckle up, we are in for a rough decade ahead.

  4. Book of Genesis chapter 6, Read it, because it tells you that Fallen Angels created HYBRID children with the woman on and they are called Nephilim, they are the GIANTS of old, These Children, “NEPHILIM”, are demonic. The Aliens, are fallen Angels, and they are creating more of them selves today by creating Hybrids for the armies of Satan to posses people, to fight against Jesus Christ when he comes again for the second coming, Jesus Christ is the way, life and truth, God Bless you.

  5. There are some people here that actually think that this video is faked! Jesus Christ! What a bunch of twats!

  6. : If you are in a crisis situation, call 911 or the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

  7. A rise in Medicaid costs, combined with the end of federal stimulus funds and a continued decline in tax receipts at the local level…

  8. chair dorow says:

    USA Today: Because of health reform & stimulus, health care is top U.S. job creator – hospitals lead the way

  9. Filed under: Hybrid, Government/Legal, Safety, Hatchback, Chevrolet, Electric Regular readers probably know the story of the Chevrolet Volt NHTSA post-crash fire by but here are the details as a refresher: The original car that triggered the investigation was crash tested by NHTSA in May. Three weeks later, in early June, the same car caught fire while in storage. The outside world first heard about the incident in November. If that timeline seems a bit drawn-out to you, you’re not alone – the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending are also raising questions. According to Automotive News, the subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), has announced that he will hold hearings in late January on the matter. He said in a statement: It gives us great concern that recent indicate safety information may have been omitted in testimony before our committee…

  10. «Եվրոպան դուրս կգա ճգնաժամից և կդառնա առավել հզոր, քան երբևէ», – նման հայտարարությամբ հանդես է եկել Գերմանիայի կանցլեր Անգելա Մերկելը` ընդգծելով, որ դրա համար ուղղակի

  11. A new study has revealed that the use of anti-depressants and sleeping pills is on the rise in Britain as the country grapples with an extensive economic crisis.

  12. wilbeckman baitelli says:

    Only 15 days until the of events at the Forum! Register now! Come hear great speakers like Peter Schiff and Joel Salatin.

  13. The Federal Reserve is scheduled to buy Treasury securities on Thursday for its stimulus plan that extends the average maturity of the U.S. government debt sitting on its balance sheet.

  14. CBO: Unemployment has exceeded 8% since Feb. 2009, making past 3yrs the longest stretch of high unemployment since the Great Depression

  15. Sounds familiar! Green energy company (A123) receives $390M in govt stimulus … Now lays off 125 employees! THAT’S Obama’s energy future?

  16. hoomelle ariizu says:

    Bloomberg Industrial production unexpectedly dropped in February, undercutting signs of an economic rebound in the first as policymakers assess whether to apply stimulus. Factory output slid 1.2 percent from the previous month, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and…

  17. ell hoetzell says:

    April 5 – A month of job gains over 200,000 would take the pressure off the Federal Reserve to commit to more stimulus according to Reuters Economics Editor Stella Dawson.

  18. marzendi hwan says:

    @WebsterGTarpley

    Peter Schiff thinks more Austerity is needed to revive the economy of Greece. He advocates – Let the free market work.

  19. ahtu shizukorst says:

    Creating Wealth During An Economic Depression
    This Book (47pgs) Provides Straight-forward Tools To Help Create Financial Independence. Bonus: Now Includes 101 Tips For Creating Wealth

  20. bannisinar says:

    What happens in a society if a bunch of armed aquatic extremists funded by a huge statist cult take over the Pacific Ocean area?

  21. watas huer says:

    Full? There are a limited number of first-rate universities, yes. BTW, do you think we’re in a free market for ed?

  22. “>Other way around there actually, An-cap’s are spinoffs of us. Aren’t ancaps more spin offs of classical liberalism that then [took on previously used by others?”

  23. capps neve says:

    “I did not say that the sick child was the fault of the free market. Please stay on topic. How is the sick child wealthy in a free market?”

  24. Dear PBO: The Stimulus Worked! It created jobs~It increased GOP~It Lowered unemployment! Do it again, we need it again! Own it! Flaunt it!

  25. -I can literally sense his depression, and I have never known paparazzi who do so well to hide the celebs secret! 😛

  26. vegan tje says:

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  27. PLEASE don’t ever have Schiff on again. What a right wing, Repugnant dick sucking, asshole. Like all of the right

  28. dyann sley says:

    Anthony Johndrow al Forum della Comunicazione 2012 – keynote speech

    5 giugno 2012 Plenaria WELCOME TO THE REPUTATION ECONOMY Keynote Speech con Anthony Johndrow – Managing Reputation Institute America. Il Forum della Comunicazione, il principale evento italiano della comunicazione d’impresa e istituzionale, giunto alla sua quinta edizione, è pronto a fare un upgrade: puntare sull’internazionalizzazione coinvolgendo i principali player ed opinion leader della comunicazione, del marketing e delle RP dello scenario nazionale ed internazionale.

    From: ComunikaTV

    Views: 0

    0 ratings
    Time: 23:04 More in Travel & Events

  29. tysiak sevics says:

    Mitt Romney: I owned Bain but had nothing to do with its business practices. President Obama, however is responsible for the Bush recession. –

  30. Isn’t UK in the middle of austerity-driven recession? You can’t afford dancing guys with “Frankie says Relax” Tees, you Limeys!

  31. Shyness (discussed in our last post) often goes hand in hand with depression. Understanding the causes and symptoms of depression will help you to overcome it. What is depression? Depression is not a sign of weakness. The term is used to describe feeling down, miserable and unhappy, and everyone feels this way at some time …
    Patsy Mulders liked Depression and dating | on 13 August 2012 (2 weeks ago).

  32. wellwinjan larolfs says:

    There has to be as easier way to make a pound. Nearly need a crane to pull me outa bed in the mornings

  33. See the enemy is being defeated in Jesus name, you no longer have to submit under depression, sickness etc. they submit to you

  34. WaPo VA poll: Romney up 8 with indies, up 11 w/ indies on the economy. If Romney wins indies by 8, he will win Virginia.

  35. In Ohio, more voters blamed GWBush for today’s bad economy (51-40%) than the guy whose been POTUS and passed the “stimulus.”

  36. remember that quiz I won in a lecture last year about child ages and got a bar of chocolate? recession has hit & I got buttons…

  37. esper mckal says:

    The poor reads of recent economic indicators tells John Hussman the U.S.has joined the global economy in recession. By his regression analysis, the Philly Fed index is the most reliable leading indicator, and its plunge doesn’t bode well. Confirmation of the Philly Fed comes from the New Orders components of the Chicago and National PMIs, and they’ve swung down as well. 2 comments!

  38. ‘that would have hired 2 million teachers,’ Romney says. Fine print: at $0.50 per hour. ROMNEY FREE MARKET. …

  39. Don’t own gun, never touched one, but being I respect right to arm one’s self – dem friends hate me for it.

  40. “If the Founding Fathers had the internet we’d still be British. Ben Franklin would still have the Angry Birds high score.”

  41. Wonderful story on Secret Millionaire Ireland. Family who set up house for people who suffer depression & are suicidal given £25m.

  42. Why do some people think that depression is “nafsya”? It’s a phase, a normal state of mind anyone could go through.

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