Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Just Blame the Crises on Freedom


The amusing part of the current financial crisis is how liberals are blaming it all on “the free market” or on “unfettered capitalism.” Not surprisingly, their solutions call for socialist and interventionist measures, in order to “save freedom and free enterprise.”

The liberal attitude toward the financial crisis is really no different from the conservative attitude toward the terrorist crisis. That crisis, as conservatives never cease to remind us, is because we’re “free” and the terrorist hate that. Not surprisingly, their solutions call for totalitarian infringements on civil liberties, in order to preserve our “freedom.”

As everyone knows, the financial crisis and the terrorist crisis are not the only crises Americans are facing. Other crises include: the drug-war crisis, the immigration crisis, the education crisis, the Social Security crisis, the healthcare crisis, the dollar crisis, the federal-spending crisis, the Iraq crisis, the Afghanistan crisis, the rising-prices crisis, and the Latin America crisis.

Conservatives and liberals will tell you that all these crises should be blamed on “freedom and free enterprise.” It’s all just a coincidence that the federal government is the common denominator of all these crises. If only Americans weren’t so free, everything would be hunky-dory. Just turn your lives, freedoms, and fortunes over to the federal government and everyone will be prosperous, safe, and secure.

It would be difficult to find a better example of the life of the lie and denial of reality. In actuality, what is cracking are the socialistic welfare state and regulated economy and the federal government’s overseas military empire, which both liberals and conservatives love and embrace. These people simply find it too painful to accept that discomforting truth. So, they steadfastly continue believing and repeating their little fiction that it’s all the fault of “freedom and free enterprise.”

When the Franklin Roosevelt administration was abandoning America’s founding principles of economic liberty in favor of of the socialist principles of the Soviet Union and the fascist principles of Mussolini’s Italy (see here and here), advocates of economic liberty warned that in the long run such principles would have very bad consequences for the United States.

But the statists cavalierly responded, “In the long run we’re all dead.” But there was one big problem with that cavalier statement: The grandchildren of the people who adopted the socialistic welfare state and the regulatory economy would be alive in the long run. That’s us — the people living today! And we’re now paying the price for our grandparents’ abandonment of America’s founding principles of individual freedom, free markets, and limited government and their embrace of socialism and interventionism. We’re living in their long run.

Lest anyone suggest that libertarians haven’t been warning of the possible crackup of the socialistic welfare state, the regulated economy, the pro-empire foreign policy, and the out-of-control federal spending that comes with all this, here are excerpts from some of my blog posts during the past few years:

“In fact, it is quite possible that we are approaching a ‘perfect storm’ in which these socialist and interventionist federal programs all go into major crisis at the same time.” —Jacob Hornberger blog, April 2006

“As I have written before, thanks to the federal government — or federal god as many American statists choose to perceive it — Americans just might be facing a perfect storm of crises, all of which are rooted in federal socialism, interventionism, and empire-building.” — Jacob Hornberger blog, April 10, 2007

“In fact, it could well be that we’re facing a perfect storm of federal disasters on the horizon, especially given that there are so many critical federal programs in crisis — Social Security, the dollar, Iraq, the war on immigrants, the drug war, education, healthcare, the IRS and income taxation, and terrorism.” — Jacob Hornberger blog, April 16, 2007

“If America continues to move in the same direction of militarism, interventionism, war, and welfarism and if all this pushes our nation into a perfect storm of financial, monetary, and economic crises, combined with lots of caskets containing the remains of U.S. soldiers as well as victims of terrorist blowback, Americans will be left with a sad lament: ‘If only we had listened to the libertarians rather than the welfare-warfare statists who took us down this road.’” — Jacob Hornberger blog, January 11, 2008

“The welfare-warfare vise continues to squeeze the American people, especially through a constantly depreciating currency to pay ever-increasing welfare-warfare expenses. Time will tell whether this turns out to be just another recessionary blip in the history of the welfare-warfare state or whether Americans are indeed facing a perfect storm of welfare-warfare crises.” —Jacob Hornberger blog, February 4, 2008

“But what happens if there is a perfect storm of several industry-wide collapses? For example, instead of a few banks failing what happens if there are bank runs on 90 percent of the banks? How is the government going to cover everyone’s losses?” —Jacob Hornberger blog, July 25, 2008

“Time will tell whether Americans are facing a perfect storm of crises, both foreign and domestic. If so, a bit of pork and lard in an economic “stimulus” bill will be the last thing on people’s mind.” — Jacob Hornberger blog, January 28, 2008

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.