Economically speaking, times are tough. Just how long it will take to recover from the current financial situation will depend on the solution. So far, I’m not seeing the right solution. Driven by political objectives instead of economic ones, both Bush’s and Obama’s medicine will make matters worse.
Then, there are some people that think we’ve just grown too big for our own britches and maybe we need to reevaluate this whole capitalism thing. Like Timothy Garton Ash, writing in the guardian.co.uk suggesting that ‘a large part of humankind has to be excluded from the happy benefits of growth or our way of life has to change.’
On its face, that represents a false choice. His reasoning behind it is no friend to freedom. It is socialism to one degree or another.
His article about capitalism making hard choices misses the obvious. Ash says . . .
It must be obvious that the planet cannot sustain 6.7 billion people living as does today’s middle class in North America and western Europe – let alone the projected 9 billion world population in mid-century. Either a large part of humankind has to be excluded from the benefits of prosperity or our way of life has to change.
The ‘obvious’ to me means freedom and free-market economies. What the rest of the deprived world needs is freedom. It is not a coincidence that the most desperate parts of the world lack such freedom. Prosperity does not beget prosperity. Freedom does.
Would not the goal be to see them help themselves for once in a few thousand years, like the US has done in these last 230 years, rather than to dismiss what has demonstrably worked by having government run the show? When people have a choice of being free to speak, free to move, free to market, free to keep private property, and free to worship, or not, they will choose freedom. And when they do, they will go a long way in resolving their problems.