Saturday, March 29, 2008

Economics
Two things need to be considered here. First, that the welfare state in whatever form it exists needs constant economic “growth” in order to support increased taxes and social welfare benefits. This is why inflationary central banking is so important to the welfare state, and also why the welfare state is essentially corporatist, whether in its leftist or rightists forms. Increases in production, productivity, income, investment and profits are necessary for business to be the engine by which the excess can be skimmed off (or extracted) and redistributed. This commitment to constant economic growth is such that modern industrial mass economies have been thoroughly rigged to “deliver” such growth as measured by the state.

Second, the big investment banks are hardly creatures of private enterprise. They are inventions of the state. Those who invest the kinds of sums these big money machines invest have been, since the 19th century at least, heavily backed and subsidized by the state, which has underwritten loans, guaranteed repayment and even ensured collection through the use of military force. The British Empire was not so much built on war as it was on foreclosure.

The fear of the social democrat, either rightist or leftist, is that the economy cannot and will not function without the state. That unless there is guidance and oversight (though maybe not full-fledged planning), we will all starve. Or foment revolution. Or both.
From the LRC blog.

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