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From the New Mercantilism to Economic Fascism

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February 1991 saw the release of the latest annual Economic Report of The President. Prepared by the President's Council of Economic Advisors, the report is meant to provide a detailed summary of where the American economy has been during the past twelve months and to offer various projections as to where the economy is heading for the next twelve months. Both retrospect and prospect are offered in an interpretive framework meant to reflect the economic philosophy of the current administration. And in the context of this economic philosophy, the President's economic advisors suggest various economic policy changes believed to be in the interests of the nation's economic well-being. The President's advisors insist that "the Administration's economic policies are designed both to mitigate the current downturn and to strengthen the foundations for a solid recovery ...

The Farm Program Fiasco

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All government programs are sacred cows. Once taxpayers fund anything, a vocal constituency develops to assert that the nation could not survive another day without the program. This is one reason why the 1990 deficit-reduction package did not cut one program or one bureaucrat or even one penny from total federal spending. Perhaps the most absurd example of this self-perpetuating nonsense is the U.S. farm program. Begun on a modest scale by the Republicans in 1929 and expanded greatly under the New Deal in the 1930s, farm price supports administered out of Washington now cost the American people a whopping $30 billion each year. Relatively poor American taxpayers pay relatively rich American farmers billions of dollars each year not to grow food. The bulk of the subsidy payments go to 320,000 large commercial farmers who in 1988 had an average annual income of $168,000. (Average non-farm family ...

Players and Pawns: The Persian Gulf War

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For the greater part of this century, the United States government has plundered, looted, and terrorized the American people through the Internal Revenue Service. It has surreptitiously stolen people's income and savings through the Federal Reserve System. It has brutally enforced — through fines and imprisonment — rules and regulations governing people's peaceful economic activities. In a very real sense, ours is a government which has been — and is — waging a terribly immoral and destructive war against its own people. Yet, Americans continue to delude themselves. Harkening back to their high-school civics classes, they continue to believe that America is the land of the free — that the welfare-state, planned-economy way of life was formed in 1787 — and that their government is founded on moral and benevolent principles. Like the cancer patient who undergoes a denial stage upon being told of his disease, Americans refuse to face the truth: that they are not free — that they ...

A Capitalist Looks at Free Trade

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Protectionists seeking relief from the rigors of foreign competition bring to mind Milton Friedman's dictum, "The great enemies of face enterprise are businessmen and intellectuals — businessmen because they want socialism for themselves and free enterprise for everyone else; intellectuals, because they want free enterprise for themselves and socialism for everyone else." I speak from personal experience. Baseball-glove leather was ...