Saturday, April 4, 2009
The premises of the New Deal control the ground and direction of American social, economic, and political life. These premises are now identifiable, although only with the passage of time:
1. Centralization. The view that all of the economic activity within U.S. borders, that is, the abstraction that many of us call the economy, is actually a real and single entity; that this whole can be and should be subject to the planning and control of centralized national officials.
2. Collectivization. The view that the life of each person is largely determined by the collective of other persons (and by collective forces beyond his control that induce insecurities); and that the powers of the collective others should be controlled by nationally elected officials so as to enhance the life, progress, happiness, and welfare of each person; that the same officials should create arrangements to reduce the various insecurities of life.
3. Market failure. The view that people in markets, left to themselves, are incapable of sustaining their own investment and employment; leading to the view that government officials need to be the watchdogs, regulators, and controllers over people making exchanges in markets.
4. Insufficiency of social institutions. The view that persons cannot count on other persons, families, churches, clubs, insurers, companies, associations etc. to meet their own needs; leading to the view that national officials acting with the powers of government are essential for meeting people’s needs.
5. Symbiosis of big institutions and big government. The view that government controls the economy by supporting and controlling big business, big labor, big agriculture, big media, big defense companies, big banks, and so on; the view that individuals, small business, independent proprietors, and small institutions of all kinds, are minor.
6. The President as personification of Democracy. The view that national institutions speak for all the people (as opposed to federalism); the view that presidential leadership supercedes national-state government relations; the view of Democracy as a collective government personified by the President, as opposed to democracy viewed as self-government.
7. Inflation is good for the economy. The view that persons should not control what money is, but that government officials should; the view that a growing economy requires depreciation of the currency and that a declining level of prices of goods and services is to be avoided.
8. Rejection of limited government. The view that the powers of the national government are virtually unlimited, or limited only by expediency; that the national government controls the persons and wealth of all of its citizens.
--Michael S. Rozeff
Posted by theo at 1:09 PM