Righties Aren’t Capitalists, They’re Corporatists

Today, we get to see true rightwing economics in action -the market surged on talk of a bailout for bond insurers.

Here’s Bloomberg:

Ambac Financial Group Inc. and MBIA Inc., the two biggest U.S. bond insurers, posted the biggest gains in the S&P 500 after New York State regulators met with banks to discuss raising new capital. Benchmark indexes posted a rally in the final hour of trading that erased declines spurred by forecasts of slowing sales at Apple Inc. and Motorola Inc.

Corporate welfare is always okay. Helping the poor is socialism.

4 Responses to “Righties Aren’t Capitalists, They’re Corporatists”

  1. Mark says:

    …I’m going to assume you’re not including libertarians in your definition of “righties” here, correct? Because corporatism (aka “fascism) has nothing whatsoever to do with a free market.

  2. Macswain says:

    Correct. The libertarians I know are generally theoretically consistent.

  3. mick says:

    Interesting distinction, and an important one. Capitalism is one thing, corporatism something else again. Capitalism is the foundation of economic health even in a “socialist” country, let’s face it. But corporatism is the “free market” distorted beyond all recognition in order to give corporations what they demand despite the needs of consumers, citizens, market economics, or democracy itself. Witness the telecommunications immunity provision in the new FISA legislation. A travesty of justice, democracy, and any form of political accountability, and all because telecom corps are demanding it. You’re right. That isn’t capitalism. It may be, as Mark hints, fascism, but it isn’t capitalism.

  4. Mark says:

    It is an important distinction, and it’s a distinction that I wish my fellow libertarians were more vocal about. We all believe in that distinction, but unfortunately do a pretty crappy job vocalizing it. I suspect that is largely because we only get press when we’ve succeeded in pushing a policy through. Since those policies have generally been pushed through by Republicans over the last 25 years, we wind up only getting press in the context of “pro-business” free market reforms, and get no press (even as opposition voices) in pro-business “corporatist” policies. Still, it’s something we need to get more vocal about. Now that the Republican Party has pretty much abandoned free market principles entirely (Mitt Romney, with his intense advocacy of corporate welfare is considered the “free market candidate” – HA!), it seems that Cato is being more vocal about opposing corporate welfare programs.

    Another statement that is worth thinking about: Capitalism is not necessarily the same as a free market, but is instead one type of economic arrangement that will be common in a free market.

    As a practical matter, there is little difference; however, in the absence of government there would be a big difference. An anarchist will tell you this is a pretty important distinction. I’m not an anarchist, though, so I had never considered this concept until I read this post (from an anarchist):


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