Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Who Today is Pro-Business?

Forbes has a nice article by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins. I particularly like this section:
The economic system fully geared to the life of producers is complete, unregulated, laissez-faire capitalism--a total separation of state and economics, where the government protects each individual's inalienable rights, including his rights to property and to freedom of contract and trade, and otherwise "gets the hell out of the way." That's what it means to be pro-business.

By this standard, Barack "At a Certain Point You've Made Enough Money" Obama is obviously anti-business. But many people are under the impression that Obama's critics are pro-business. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One of the myths that arose following the financial crisis was that America pre-Obama was something close to a free market. According to this narrative, anyone who supports the status quo circa 2007 is a champion of capitalism.

But by 2007 the number of federal agencies and commissions riding roughshod over a businessman's rights had already mushroomed to more than 100, including the IRS, SEC, EPA, FTC, FDA, FCC, USDA, FDIC, OHSA. These agencies were enforcing an unprecedented 73,000 pages of regulations, and their budgets had swelled to record levels. This included 2002's draconian Sarbanes-Oxley, passed by the Senate 99-0 and signed into law by the supposedly pro-capitalist President Bush.

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