The moral face of capitalism

Continued freedom and opportunity necessary to preserve America

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Conservatives are only starting to feel their way around the wilderness.

Even in a horrible economy, and facing an administration beleaguered by scandals on the Mexican border, in Libya and in crony “green energy” failures that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, the conservative message was rejected at the polls in November.

This newspaper predicted in October that the election would be “a battle of reason vs. emotion. Freedom vs. dependence. Hope vs. fear and envy. Belief in the individual vs. reliance on the collective.”

It was. And in each case, the conservative case wasn’t made convincingly enough.

This, despite the fact that a large plurality of Americans describe themselves as conservative.

Conservatives have a lot of soul-searching to do in the next few years.

Certainly the media helped swing the election – primarily by downplaying the Obama administration’s multiple scandals and repeated lying over the Fast and Furious gun-running operation on the border, and the breakdown in security at our embassy in Benghazi that led to four deaths and many lies.

Conservatives need to think about how to break through the “mainstream” media bias. It won’t stop of its own volition. Consider: Barbara Walters, in a sitdown interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – who presided over the Benghazi Bungle – had no questions about the fatal errors and tall tales that followed. Instead, she practically prodded Clinton to run for president in 2016.

When was the last time someone from the “mainstream” media begged and pleaded with a scandalized Republican to run for president? Not gonna happen.

But conservatives can’t control the major networks. What they can do is hone their own message.

Others have noted that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was trying to win voters over with facts and figures, while President Obama appealed to their emotions.

Republicans also need to do a better job of reaching out to minorities – who would do well to consider the conservative message of liberty, responsibility, limited government and more.

But perhaps the biggest item on conservatives’ plate is the need to make a moral case for capitalism.

As much as Republicans, it was capitalism that took a beating Nov. 6. And the Republicans and the capitalists may have no one else to blame but themselves.

Republicans were caught absolutely flat-footed by the health-care issue, to their undying shame. They could’ve made it an issue themselves after turning back “Hillarycare” in the 1990s – but they ignored the issue. They could’ve put forth market-based solutions to getting more people health care coverage – but they did not.

Meanwhile, the capitalists continued to go about their merry way – some of them even getting bailed out by taxpayers after the 2008 crash.

So, by 2012, a lot of Americans looked around and saw that there were a lot of fat cats even in a down economy, and that some of them got even fatter by laying off low-income workers.

Instead of making the moral case for capitalism, the capitalists made capitalism look bad.

We can no longer take it for granted that the benefits of capitalism speak for themselves. They ought to, of course: It’s rich with irony that the Occupy Wall Street protesters who so despise capitalism have to juggle their smart phones while drinking their latte from Starbucks. Whatever.

As an almost knee-jerk reaction to the excesses of capitalism and the gap between rich and poor, America seems to have pivoted recklessly toward socialism. Free stuff is always nice, and the siren song of “spreading the wealth around” is a seductive one.

But socialism is inherently immoral. It involves taking the fruit of someone’s labor and giving it to someone else – largely without regard to how industrious or responsible or even grateful the recipient is. Elections and revolutions may give a government that power, but not the right.

On the other hand, there is a powerful moral case to be made for capitalism and free markets.

“Limited government and individual liberty aren’t merely policy alternatives. They’re moral imperatives,” writes Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute. “Only the moral case for freedom and opportunity ... will have a chance to save the American experiment that we say we want.”

Brooks says three things are necessary for that argument to be made: 1) “the right of every American to earn his or her success”; 2) a fair society “in which hard work, creativity, and honest competition result in financial reward”; and 3) a system that lifts people up from poverty.

Given that it’s clearly free enterprise and free trade that have done that around the world, that case needs to be made. Over and over and over.

And capitalists are the only ones who can make the case.

The first step: Make capitalism as moral as possible.

That step has yet to be taken.

Comments (48) Add comment
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carcraft
25928
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carcraft 01/13/13 - 04:03 pm
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Colon Powell says he is a

Colon Powell says he is a Republican but endorsed and supported Obama in the last two elections! Powell could have been the first black President if his wife wasn't buts. Powell was very critical of the Republicans on Face the Nation and got into the "racist code word " garbage!

justthefacts
21949
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justthefacts 01/13/13 - 04:18 pm
4
0
You know

It takes a ton of courage for a black man to go against the cause. Powell caved.

RMSHEFF
16001
Points
RMSHEFF 01/13/13 - 04:27 pm
5
0
Techfan, would you rather be

Techfan, would you rather be a poor person in 1928 or a poor person in 2013 ? The gap between rich and poor may have widened in dollar terms but a poor person today would have been considered middle class in 1920s. A poor person in America would be considered wealthy when compared to the rest of the world. A rising tide lifts ALL boats. I think you want everyone to be equally poor.

burninater
9605
Points
burninater 01/13/13 - 04:39 pm
1
4
A poor person in America

A poor person in America would be considered wealthy when compared to the rest of the world.
-------
To some parts of the world, RMSHEFF. But among the developed nations, America is near and/or at the bottom in numerous poverty metrics, including infant mortality, life expectancy, education level, and economic mobility.

KSL
129903
Points
KSL 01/13/13 - 04:53 pm
3
1
What about home ownership,

What about home ownership, say in England, burn?

Bizkit
31505
Points
Bizkit 01/13/13 - 04:55 pm
2
0
I agree Burn. Infant

I agree Burn. Infant mortality and life expectancy is linked to numerous factors (environment and genetics) but all the rest are because of govt influence. We spend more on education than any nation yet some third world countries are better educated-what an indictment. Economic mobility is also influenced by govt interference pickin' winners.

KSL
129903
Points
KSL 01/13/13 - 04:56 pm
4
1
Infant mortality, life

Infant mortality, life expectancy, poor education are all to a certain extent a matter of poor decision making.

burninater
9605
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burninater 01/13/13 - 05:03 pm
1
1
Interesting point KSL, I just

What about home ownership, say in England, burn?
-------
Interesting point KSL, I just looked at it per your recommendation. Homeownership in the UK is at an historic low of 64.7%, lower even than the economically troubled EU countries of Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy, and Romania. Guess where we are in that list? Right there with the UK -- our rate is 65.4%.

Bizkit
31505
Points
Bizkit 01/13/13 - 05:03 pm
3
0
What about the largest

What about the largest protest in France in decades happening in Paris. Huge demonstrations against "gay marriage". I bet Johnny Depp is havin' a hissy fit that we Americans seem more sophisticated than his fellow Parisianers. He always protest we Amercans are barbarians. His got lotta splainin' ta do to his Hollywood buddies-that his european friends don't support gay marriage. I find it all so interestin' and hilarious. Let's change topics:
The Moral Face of Socialism. hee,hee,hee.

Bizkit
31505
Points
Bizkit 01/13/13 - 05:04 pm
3
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Of course NOW Burn. How about

Of course NOW Burn. How about before the crash. Hee,hee,hee.

burninater
9605
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burninater 01/13/13 - 05:16 pm
1
3
Uhh, Biz, you know the crash

Uhh, Biz, you know the crash was largely the result of a housing bubble produced by mortgages given to unqualified buyers, right? I know you aren't making the claim that pre-crash numbers were an accurate metric of who could actually afford their homes in the U.S.. The majority of people that could actually afford their homes are still in them ...

carcraft
25928
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carcraft 01/13/13 - 05:29 pm
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Burn I go over this

Burn I go over this CONTINUALLY, infant mortality, any child that breaths after birth (even the ones Obama would leave to die after a botched abortion) is a live birth in America. There is no uniform standard.In some countries a child must live one or two days. In some countries a child born with a birth defect incompatible with life is not live birth, in the US it is a live birth, so you are comparing apples to oranges. Life expectancy, if you take the gang bangers out our statistics match other countries!

Bizkit
31505
Points
Bizkit 01/13/13 - 05:44 pm
3
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No, no, no how could they be

No, no, no how could they be "unqualified buyers" and then be qualified buyers????? You're not implicatin' some misdeeds have been unprosecuted or really investigated related to the whole crisis??? My gosh-white collar crime goin' unprosecuted and uninvestigated is just discriminatory. I seem to remember a movie where Dan Akroyd was a wealthy snob and Eddie Murphy a homeless street hustler and they switched places-Seems a fair and just penalty rather than prison. hee,hee,hee. Pretty funny movie (sheesh not money) as I remember. Why don't ya drink ya another one.

carcraft
25928
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carcraft 01/13/13 - 06:11 pm
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Burn -Who forced banks to

Burn -Who forced banks to give those mortgages? Did the Community Reinvestment act Have anything to do with it!?

deestafford
27721
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deestafford 01/13/13 - 06:27 pm
0
0
Excellent comments and discussion

A few points:
The people in the "rich", "middle", and "poor" classifications are contuously migrating from one classification to another. A lot fluidity in how much wealth one has. May have it today and it's gone tomorrow.
Our "poor" have a standard of living higher than that of the middle class in Europe.
To Colin Powell 'black" is more important than the well being of the country's future as indicate by his support for Obama. It really hurts me to say that as a retired Infantry officer who saw many things he did well before he got "captured" by Washington, DC and became a "perfumed prince".
Take the blacks out of the comparative statistics when looking at other countries and you will see we rank much higher than we do with them. It's not racial...it's culture. There's a lot of difference between Walter E. Williams, Thomas Sowell, and that Atlanta rapper (11 babies, 10 mommies).

seenitB4
87304
Points
seenitB4 01/13/13 - 06:42 pm
1
1
darby

This is the article on C Powell...see what you think....he says he is a Rep but a moderate.....gotta go now.....seeya

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/13/colin-powell-gop_n_2467768.html...

KSL
129903
Points
KSL 01/13/13 - 07:33 pm
2
1
burn

Banks have shareholders who don't like to lose money on their investments, which they have already paid taxes on. Banks are generally conservative and they would not have made those loans if not coerced to they had huge carrots of indemnification dangled in their faces.

carcraft
25928
Points
carcraft 01/13/13 - 11:22 pm
1
0
This is for all the lefties

This is for all the lefties out there! Colon Powell once again stated on Face the Nation that the best CIA analyst believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction! So Bush did not lie, neither did Colon Powell!

KSL
129903
Points
KSL 01/14/13 - 01:10 am
1
0
There was a poster here who

There was a poster here who was there and saw evidence. Plenty of Dems believed the same info provided the potus at the time. A general working for Sadam described how the weapons were removed from the country before the expected war. They had plenty of time to accomplish that.

KSL
129903
Points
KSL 01/14/13 - 01:14 am
1
0
Ever wonder why the powers

Ever wonder why the powers that be act like the American public does not need to be informed or educated? They believe they have pretty much accomplished the dumbing down of America.

Grandpa Jones
1050
Points
Grandpa Jones 01/14/13 - 02:34 am
1
0
....

"100 years ago where was Buffet, Gates, Hewlett and Packard, Winfree, or hundreds of other top money earners."
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LOL, I don't think any of them were born, yet, Carcraft.

metalhead
30
Points
metalhead 01/15/13 - 07:35 am
0
0
"Others have noted that GOP

"Others have noted that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was trying to win voters over with facts and figures, while President Obama appealed to their emotions."

So that begs the question, how can you convince emotional, irrational people of any sound principle?

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