Friday, September 26, 2008

Wall Street Journal: Paulson Plan a Winner (for Some)

That squeak from the wheel is starting to turn into a grinding noise. What else can you say when the Wall Street Journal itself, the unofficial official journal of the free market, begins espousing socialism? What's next? Discovering that Karl Marx made a fortune as a hedge fund manager? Anyway, here's the latest missive to the Wall Street Journal. As always, feel free to take what you want to write your own letter(s).

Dear Sir(s):

Mr. Andy Kessler's opinion column in yesterday's Wall Street Journal ("The Paulson Plan Will Make Money for Taxpayers," WSJ, 09/25/08, A21), while accurate, is slightly misleading. The Paulson Plan will make money for some taxpayers . . . taxpayers like Mr. Kessler. Even more misleading is the unstated assumption that taxpayers somehow "own" what government possesses.

While common in socialist circles, this assumption betrays a complete misunderstanding of the institution of private property, as well as the free market, the proper role of the State, and the importance of control over money and credit. Of this list, the two most critical (although all are important) are the role of the State, and the importance of control over money and credit. Both are extremely useful — and extraordinarily dangerous — tools.

Being tools, the State and money and credit are best employed when controlled by the people for whose benefit they exist, not when they do the controlling. Putting the State and the money power together is, in essence, to give unlimited power to both: the State is now backed up by the might of the money power, while the money power now has access to the State's monopoly on the instruments of coercion. The only thing more dangerous is an established church, where the State claims jurisdiction over the next life as well as absolute power in this one.

Frankly, while a successful hedge fund manager, Mr. Kessler needs to go back to school, or at least realize that there are a few things he doesn't know — like a correct understanding of property and the proper role of the State. A good place to start might be a course in Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, with an elective in "A New Look at Prices and Money."


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