Saturday, May 12, 2007

Trapper John Vs. the Capitalist Pig

In an interesting exchange on Fox News' Cashin In, "Capitalist Pig" Jonathan Hoenig (photo) debated Wayne Rogers of MASH fame on the virtues of capitalism. To the outside observer one would think they were saying the same thing -- both were speaking about the virtues of the market.

The focus of the debate was whether or not businesses were a positive force in society and in what ways? Most on the panel largely agreed that capitalism is good and immediately cited the huge amounts businesses contribute to philanthropic causes. Wayne Rogers was particularly passionate, pointing out that "whatever government does, it does poorly." Corporations, Rogers argued, are doing far more for social good in its activities than government could ever do.

Hoenig, who is an unabashed libertarian, on the surface should have been in complete agreement with Rogers, but came out quite critical of the argument. In the Ronald Reagan, "the best social program is a job" tradition, Hoenig said that the economy created by business was all the case that needed to be made in its defense. All of the discussions on philanthropy implies that business needed to defend itself, which was wrong in Hoenig's view. Private property is moral. Free enterprise is moral. These are principles that should be defended.

It was a strange, but powerful argument, to hear in this upside down culture we live in. A culture that has forgotten the goose which laid the golden egg that made this nation the most prosperous in the history of mankind. A defense for free enterprise because of what it does naturally, nothing else. I hope to hear more arguments like that in the future.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home