Sunday, August 18, 2013
Most Conservatives Are Not Libertarians
Paul Krugman argues that most conservatives are libertarians in a very narrow sense. They favor deregulation and greater freedom for businesses to do what they please. On the other hand, they would like to impose their value system on the rest of society. Its a mistake to view the political debates in America as a battle between conservatism and liberalism. The real battle is between those who represent the interests of plutocrats and those who favor a more equal distribution of power, which we sometimes call democracy. What we have been witnessing for the last 40 years is a struggle by conservatives to alter the balance of power that had been established. Calling it libertarianism is like putting lipstick on a pig. A good example of conservative hypocrisy is provided in this NYT editorial. Republicans in the House claim to be against Wall Street banks and crony capitalism. On the other hand, they work hard to get placed on the House committee which overseas the finance industry. Their main purpose is to get in line for generous campaign contributions from the financial services industry that go primarily to representatives on the committee. The return on the investments made by industry lobbyists is spectacular. This is an area in which bankers make an outstanding allocation of capital to its most productive use.