pictured: John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman
A long time friend (at least I think he still is) recently went on the attack using Facebook. I try not to get embroiled in these conversations that are divisive but was almost drawn in after seeing many of his disparaging remarks to another long time friend. His comments were aimed at painting the second as an “uneducated” and “uninformed” follower of the right wing.
This first friend moved to California many years ago and appears to have drunk the kool-aid. He now appears to walk lock-step with the “progressives.” (Which is nothing more than the doublespeak rebranding of the Fabian Society)
In his post he suggested the other watch the PBS documentary Commanding Heights “so I don’t have to read uninformed posts.” This is a tactic of the left – call names, skew the facts, promote dissent. Here is what I started to write on his Facebook post:
That documentary – and more importantly the book upon which it is based (because the PBS series misrepresented many of the points) make the case that socialism did not and does not work. That is what your cabal of “progressives” (the most egregious case of double-speak ever) are wanting. To use semantics to imply the opposite is not only disingenuous but as corrupt as the leftist agenda. When capitalism is working, progressives sow dissent in hopes of a shift back to the style of government that has been responsible for more deaths and less freedom than any other.
Keynes’ would never have agreed with the progressive agenda… it is socialism (calling it democratic socialism doesn’t mean anything other than more doublespeak.) This is an area in which Keynes and Hayek agreed. In response to Hayek’s book lambasting socialism and government planing, Keynes said, “Morally and philosophically I find myself in agreement with virtually the whole of it; and not only in agreement with it, but in a deeply moved agreement.” The issue is that progressives want to control all aspects.
Rather than feed the flames on social media, I thought it better to formalize my thoughts on economics and post them here. 1) because Facebook is a not a good outlet for lengthy thoughts and 2) because it would totally devolve into choosing sides, name calling and ignoring reality.
Here is some reality. Wage and price controls don’t work. They create black markets – capitalism. Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics took a different approach – limited government in a free market economy. Not a Wild West of capitalism… but a best of both worlds approach. The problem is that nobody has really tried it.
The first opportunity we had to use this model was under Nixon and it just never happened. The politician in him came out and politicians have done it ever since. The remnants of the above-mentioned Fabian Society are still in the government – in both branches. Yes, they have rebranded as progressives but they are still entrenched in the media, universities and all levels of government.
To bring this back to the original impetus for the post, my friend called sometime out as ignorant of world economics and uses a documentary that argues against everything he regularly supports. Sounds like he needs to stop focusing on the color of his kettle friend.
by Chris Doelle
Also published on Medium.