Economics

Arianna Huffington Needs Your Help!

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Howard Dean is giving me a headache.

A plea from Arianna, just up at HuffPo:

On Friday, I'm taking part in a debate that will be broadcast on C-SPAN. Howard Dean and I will be crossing rhetorical swords with Dick Armey and John Kasich on the question "America's Future: Can Capitalism Survive?" The event will be moderated by Joe Scarborough. I plan to make the point that what we have right now is not actually capitalism—it's corporatism. It's welfare for the rich. It's the government picking winners and losers. It's Wall Street having their taxpayer-funded cake and eating it too. It's socialized losses and privatized gains. I'd love to hear what other points you think I should make.

Hop over to her comments section and share your thoughts, and double-post 'em here.

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  1. I plan to make the point that what we have right now is not actually capitalism — it’s corporatism. It’s welfare for the rich.

    Fucking A

    1. And I hear was about to post some sort of alt-alt-text about grabbing her by the ears and thrusting her head forward.

      The picture made me say it.

    2. Damn, I hate it when she’s right.

  2. Arianna said that? I picked the wrong day to give up sniffing glue.

    Also, Kasich’s run for Ohio governor could be interesting.

  3. to which I say, “No shit.”

  4. Clock, stopped. Rest easy – I’m sure she’ll resume her usual idiocy forthrightly.

  5. I plan to make the point that what we have right now is not actually capitalism — it’s corporatism.

    Now that you’ve realized that Arianna, would you be so kind as to stop lumping libertarians with big-government conservatives?

    /faint hope mode

    1. How about when libertarians loudly protest Republicans using their philosophy as an excuse for enacting corporatism?

      1. OK, so that happened during all the bailouts, Tony.

        You know, the bailouts that the Democrats voted for as well? (In larger percentages, even.)

        1. More Democrats voted for them than Republicans.

      2. You haven’t been around here very long, have you?

  6. Last time I checked, Arianna had a substantial amount of money. If she wants my help, she needs to pay for it. That’s capitalism, baby.

  7. I’m not sure Dick Armey wouldn’t agree.

    Can’t have much of a debate with that, can you?

    1. The idea of it being Arianna Huffington and Dick Armey and possibly John Kasich all agreeing and disagreeing with Howard Dean is almost amusing enough to make me watch.

      1. Maybe we’ll get another howl.

  8. Well, this has been true of most supposedly “capitalist” economies historically. The rich are subsidized either directly, as in our current predicament, or by the govt harassing potential competitors and turning a blind eye to the rich’s own lawless actions. The height of supposedly “laissez-faire” policy in the US was in the late 19th century, home to Pinkerton guard coercion and company store monopolies, among other crimes against libertarian philosophy.

    Frankly, the term brings along with it so much baggage that we need to find a new one. “Marketism”, perhaps?

    1. You mean agorism?

    2. I like “marketism.” I’m going to start using that.

      1. I’ll stick with “liberty”.

        -jcr

    3. Thing is, economic liberty also allows non-market methods of organizing, so long as they’re voluntary. Co-ops of all varieties, not to mention charities and nonprofits and so on. Copyleft advocates explicitly acknowledge that they can only enforce the “left” part of their licenses because the law protects copyright. One reason that Reason was fairly positive about Elinor Ostrom is the recognition that economic autonomy and markets are not synonymous. When libertarians get too obsessed about markets, they forget that freedom allows a lot of other options to people.

      Like all freedom/tolerance options, economic freedom allows opponents of markets much more leeway in pursuing happiness than vice versa.

  9. One poster over there wrote this:

    “Arianna-You might bring up the fact that capitalism, combined with democracy, is the best system the world has ever seen and has given people the highest standard of living the world has ever seen. In fact, capitalism is so good , even the Chinese Communists have gone capitalist.

    Lets end certain abuses and fix whatever problems there might be, but lets continue to enjoy all the benefits of capitalism.”

    Fucking A indeed!

  10. This is a joke, right? She didn’t actually write this? My computer has become sentient, I think, and won’t allow me access to HuffPo.

    Because if this isn’t a joke, um? I agree with Arianna Huffington?

    1. I think I’m in love with your computer.

  11. I wouldn’t fuck Arianna Huffington with Warty’s dick.

    1. Really? I’d give my left nut for 10 minutes in her. Oh wait, I already gave that one away. Never mind.

    2. What about Warty’s mom’s dick?

      1. I’m cool with that.

  12. “what we have right now is not actually capitalism — it’s corporatism.”

    Brilliant. And what’s sure to escape her is that when the government is the biggest, richest, most powerful entity in the realm, corporations and monied interest groups will spend most of their money on lobbying that government for favors.

    What’s the point in trying to create products and services to appeal to low-dollar individuals when the big money is concentrated in the fists of the powerful federal overlords?

    For many these days, the potential ROI of lobbying is greater than, you know, innovation and marketing to overtaxed individuals.

    1. Or we could just elect people to Congress who care more about democracy than campaign donations. I think we should try that avenue before we abandon the country to law of the jungle economics you guys have a hadron for. And most people agree with me.

      1. Heh heh. Good luck with that.

      2. What the hell’s a hadron?

        1. It’s a mass of quarks.

          1. And it’s traveling back in time to bitch-slap us all…

        2. You can collide them in Switzerland

        3. Something they’re going to smash together in Switzerland that’ll end the world.

          1. Not quite. The smashing is supposed to produce the hadron.

            1. Then the world ends, right?

              1. No then it goes backwards in time and causes budget overruns.

        4. That big jammy that launches particle thingies at each other. Or something.

        5. Something very small.

        6. Twenty bucks, same as downtown.

      3. Thousands of years of recorded history is full of governments and rulers who believed they knew better than the market. And for almost all of those years, the poor have lived in abject poverty with only a few rich lording over them.

        The only times the poor have risen out of horrible poverty have been when we’ve had free markets and property rights.
        Sure we still have income inequality, but the poor are much better off. Inequality has nothing to do with how well off the poor are.

        This freedom and wealth for the average person has not happened often.

        The reason it doesn’t happen often is people like you continue to disbelieve and want to drag us back to the dark ages.

        no thank you.

        1. But it’s the Right People? who want to drag us back to the dark ages, so that makes it OK.

  13. Don’t expect small government principles from Huffington. I would not believe for a second that she has any complaint about the system, just where the money goes.

  14. And p.s. I suspect my comment at the HuffPost will not survive moderation.

  15. Or we could just elect people to Congress who care more about democracy than campaign donations. I think we should try that avenue before we abandon the country to law of the jungle economics you guys have a hadron for. And most people agree with me.

    This is either brilliantly subtle trolling, or an idiocy so pure you could fuel rockets with it.

    1. Or just your run-of-the-mill liberal yammerin’.

      We could fuel a fleet of rockets with that amount of idiocy. Enough to flee the planet!

    2. Occams Razor sez “A”.

  16. The Chinese have gone corporatist as well, they are only “capitalist” if you’re looking at China from a Communist point of view. It would be nice if China does eventually choose free markets, but anyone who thinks China has a free market now is sniffing glue. They are still subsidizing a massive state sector and the government-business relationship is completely incestuous. My pet peeve about a lot of self proclaimed libertarians is that they get bent out shape, rightly, when the government interferes with private business but when government functionaries use their state positions to “enhance” their private businesses, as happens all the time in China and Russia, we’re supposed to view that as healthy. I don’t see it that way, a private business that has full government backing, i.e. is robbing taxpayers for its own benefit, and can’t fail is no better than a state run business and in some ways is even less accountable to those taxpayers. For all America’s flaws we are much freer than China – unless your sole criteria is how free business owners are to pollute and screw their workers out of wages. But you know, the USSR was pretty good at that kind of thing as well.

    1. You’re arguing with the libertarian in your head. I view China as being freer than it used to be, not freer than the U.S.

    2. Well, its a hell of a lot better than the Cultural Revolution.

      1. My pet peeve about a lot of self proclaimed libertarians is that they get bent out shape, rightly, when the government interferes with private business but when government functionaries use their state positions to “enhance” their private businesses, as happens all the time in China and Russia, we’re supposed to view that as healthy.

        Is this enhancement anything like the enhancement that Smilin’ Bob sells?

        libertarians…

        I do not think that word means what you think it does.

        1. I was thinking of spambot up above, but unfair of me since maybe he doesn’t consider himself a libertarian. I’m just saying “capitalism” has not triumphed yet in China. Things have certainly been headed in the right direction the last 30 years, but China is no poster child for anything. And the last thing we need is “pro business moderates” telling us the China model is our future the way people used to rave about the Japanese model in the 80s.

          1. Well that was a quote I pulled from HuffPo. I don’t agree that the Chinese model is one to emulate but I liked the quote because it shows that even the totalitarian Chinese understand the benefits of a market economy whereas our own leaders seem to not understand this.

            Vanya, I would not shy away from the libertarian label BTW.

    3. “My pet peeve about a lot of self proclaimed libertarians is that they get bent out shape, rightly, when the government interferes with private business but when government functionaries use their state positions to “enhance” their private businesses, as happens all the time in China and Russia, we’re supposed to view that as healthy.”

      As opposed to liberals who consider private entities lobbying the government against onerous regulations to be an affront to “democracy”, but a cabinet secretary in a lefty administration can empty the treasury for his former employer and other buddies. See the Geithner thread.

  17. My pet peeve about a lot of self proclaimed libertarians is that they get bent out shape, rightly, when the government interferes with private business but when government functionaries use their state positions to “enhance” their private businesses, as happens all the time in China and Russia, we’re supposed to view that as healthy.

    Who are these self-proclaimed libertarians who live state interference in the economy?

  18. It’s frustrating, though not surprising, that liberal commentators like Huffington use the standard synecdoche of “Wall Street” when referencing this corporatism, yet fail to mention General Motors. Anyway, she lost all intellectual credibility for me when she waxed Ickean and concluded that Bush voters had regressed to a reptilian mental state.

  19. It was a pain in the digital ass to register there, but for Hit & Run I did. Awaiting moderation –

    “I plan to make the point that what we have right now is not actually capitalism — it’s corporatism. It’s welfare for the rich. It’s the government picking winners and losers. It’s Wall Street having their taxpayer-funded cake and eating it too. It’s socialized losses and privatized gains”.

    That reads as if it were posted by a free market libertarian. You’ll be railing against regulation that’s keeping the smaller players in the market from competing next.

    Yes, Give yourself to the Dark Side.

  20. And the HuffPo solution to Corporatism? More regulation!

    Wake me up when they realize that it’s the size of the state that invites Corporatism, not the size of Corporation.

  21. Sounds like Arianna’s at least contemplating taking the red pill.

  22. Well, libertarianism has officially become trendy. Ariana has been a great leading edge trend spotter, being a conservative Republican in the Reagan/Bush years and morphing to a liberal Democrat in the late Clinton years to present. Spouting libertarianism now must mean it is about to become trendy; you read it hear first.

  23. I don’t think this is any different from what other liberals are saying. The problem is they see “corporatism” even when the corporation is operating legitimately (e.g. Wal-Mart, McDonalds) but simply getting too large for their (the liberals’) comfort.

    The fact that the corporations might be growing because they’re providing goods and/or services that everyday people willingly want to purchase never seems to enter their mind. Their thoughts automatically turn to “evil corporation taking advantage of poor, defenseless “.

    It’s funny how they’ll trust big government without question even though it has overwhelmingly more power than even the biggest of corporations.

  24. I’m glad HuffPo has come to their senses and realized that government fucks up just about everything they mess with.

    Oh, wait. They haven’t had that epiphany about the other stuff besides corporations.

  25. privatized gains? seriously?

  26. Crossing Swords with Dick Armey.

    That is All.

  27. >It’s socialized losses and privatized gains.

    She’s borrowing from Nassim Taleb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krU1wPb7i6c

    But, maybe if we spent more time electing leadership that held value for our Constitution, we wouldn’t have to bother analyzing which “ism” we are?

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