Publisher's Note:

One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our efforts. Please make your gift to the 2021 Patriots' Day Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

Robin Smith / Feb. 24, 2020

Free Markets … Really

A new conservative organization aims to right the wrongs of supposedly unfettered markets.

A new group is causing a bit of a stir among talkingheads, columnists, and policy wonks on the Right. American Compass, a new organization set to supposedly reclaim the conservative mantle of capitalism that aims to serve all Americans from the supposed wild west of libertarian free markets, announced its founding last week. It features folks associated with Sens. Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney, along with the Heritage Foundation’s PAC and Hillsdale College, among other notable policy wells.

The group’s argument is simply that the economy under President Donald Trump is being run by free-market fundamentalism and is leaving many behind.

Yet to accept the premise of the American Compass folks, one would have to believe that federal, state, and local governments are pretty much hands-off in their approach to markets. Clearly, that’s just not so. Governments at all three levels routinely pick winners and losers, which always ends up yielding more regulation. That in turn creates imbalance and the redistribution of wealth, which permits bad behavior among individuals who, in completely free markets, would instead stand responsible for behavior and choices.

Sounding a great deal like social justice lite, American Compass Executive Director Oren Cass declares, “Conservative economics will take seriously the effects of social and market forces on each other. It will concern itself with the pernicious effects that the high level of economic inequality can have on the social fabric, the market’s functioning and people’s well-being.”

Instead of focusing on this new group that will get big money, write papers, and posit a new intellectual approach to markets, what if conservatives just addressed the perverted incentives and the constructs of a market that still picks winners and losers?

Let’s take a look.

A growing number of Americans are not embracing socialism because of the failure of capitalism or the mythically unfettered free market. Socialism is popularized in theory because much of America’s economy is influenced by corporatism and cronyism posing as capitalism.

Socialism is an economy of wealth redistribution void of merit or responsibility with concentrated power in the hands of the governing elite overseeing said redistribution. Cronyism is a framework of business where success results from government picking winners and losers with targeted tax breaks or protection laws that either prohibit competition or assist in erecting barriers to competition. Corporatism merges aspects of capitalism and socialism without the complete destruction of private-property rights, but it essentially protects big companies from free-market forces for some identified “public good” that typically serves the well-connected interests of the governing elite over the consumer or other competing interests.

It is not “free-market capitalism” to allow banking, health systems, big tech, and all things big to find protections from competition and distortions of market forces under the premise of a “public good” when the government selectivity protects certain interests and not the power of the individual consumer.

Critics of capitalism are angered with misbehaving capitalists. Bad actors give any effort, cause, or endeavor a bad name. The greedy, the immoral, and the corrupt who operate behind the guise of free markets but are predatory or exploitive give capitalism a bad name. Hence, laws and regulations are put in place to deal with the bad actors and, thus, change the market influence and forces. As William F. Buckley Jr. often quoted, “The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists.” The solution isn’t to fight the straw man of supposedly unfettered markets.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.