Anthony Gregory Reviews David Stockman’s The Great Deformation

by | Dec 3, 2014 | Stress Blog

Anthony Gregory Reviews David Stockman’s The Great Deformation for The Future of Freedom:

Most leftist critiques of libertarianism focus on an alleged blind defense of corporate power. Indeed, left-libertarian Kevin Carson has helpfully criticized the very real problem of ‘vulgar libertarianism,’ the working assumption that current economic realities are a product of free-market dynamics and therefore deserve an emphatic defense. In truth, massive wealth accumulation in at least a few conspicuous sectors, the plight of workers, and growing inequality all flow at least in large part from government interventions in behalf of the economically powerful, and libertarians err insofar as they ignore this.

On the other hand, the conflation of laissez faire and corporate power is at least as common on the Left, which often derides libertarians for the sin of ‘market fundamentalism.’ The argument sometimes comes that libertarians are hypocrites, failing to see how much government props up fat-cat beneficiaries, but rarely do progressives or so-called liberals follow through and argue that real free markets are the answer. It seems, to the contrary, that many on the Left would much prefer the conservative variants of economic management we get from Republican politicians, inequality and all, over the unplanned results of genuine free enterprise.

In fact, radical libertarians have often argued against corporate privileges that much of the Left ignores or even defends. Libertarians have for generations drawn attention to the Federal Reserve’s cozy relationship with the banks. We have long criticized the distribution of wealth arising from unfair land policies. Libertarians provide many of the most trenchant critiques of patent and licensing privileges, which entrench powerful economic players. A lot of the economic interventions that appear egalitarian are in fact regressive, but even some of the ones that are obviously regressive ”” sales taxes, occupational permit requirements, eminent domain ”” have long received far more aid and comfort among progressives than among any kind of libertarians.

Read the rest here.

Listen to The Scott Horton Show