It was a great week for capitalism.
As previously noted, the editorial board of The Washington Post, the newspaper of record for the federal government elite, stated, unequivocally and unapologetically, “Democratic capitalism, for all its shortcomings, remains the greatest engine of widely-shared prosperity the world has ever known. … The pursuit of individual wealth is not only natural; it is laudable, as a reward for risk-taking, innovation, artistic creativity and efficient production, whose benefits spill over to society as a whole.”
The senior pundits of the capital pivot from lionizing democratic socialists and progressive politicos. The lion of socialism lay down with the lamb of capitalism.
And the lamb ate the lion.
Just prior, in the recent NYC mayoral primary, Maya Wiley, the anointed paladin of the left, lost in a landslide with only 21% to Eric Adams and Kathryn Garcia. Two centrist candidates, in this famously left-leaning city, shared over 50% of the vote, tilting the Big Apple center. The voters have spoken.
The coup de grace in defenestrating socialism from the Overton Window and, thus, consigning socialism to the lunatic fringe, was administered by President Joe Biden on July 19th. Biden stated:
“Another prediction — that is my favorite one, I must add — is that if I got elected, I’d bring the end to capitalism. (Laughs.) I never understood that one, but we’ve heard — we’ve heard it an awful lot. Well, in six months into my administration, the U.S. economy has experienced the highest economic growth rate in nearly 40 years. … Folks, it turns out capitalism is alive and very well. We’re making serious progress to ensure that it works the way it’s supposed to work: for the good of the American people.”
Biden proclaiming that “capitalism is alive and very well” is, of course, fully consistent with the position that Candidate Biden took throughout his presidential campaign. For example, in October 2019, in a campaign event in Palo Alto, Biden “argued that Trump's policies have ‘eviscerated the middle class.’ But Biden warned against a ‘socialist’ response to the president. … ‘We've got to save capitalism from this guy.’”
Bidenistas now are coming out in force to extol capitalism. A stellar example is that of Prof. Katherine Pistor writing at Project Syndicate about Joe Biden’s Pro-Market Agenda.
“Companies will always be tempted to flout the rules in order to gain an advantage. But in some sectors today, the erosion of the market principle has gone far beyond cheating consumers or hard-balling potential competitors. … These asymmetrical arrangements all smack of hierarchy, not of free markets that efficiently allocate resources, including human capital. Now that the Biden administration has set its sights on these neo-feudal practices, free-marketeers should be cheering the loudest.”
Lest some of the faithful followers of the Capitalist League claim that this is a false flag by a crypto-socialist let's note that the inventor of capitalism, Adam Smith, leveled a comparable indictment of merchants, capitalism’s most formidable adversary:
“The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be agreeable enough to the interest of the public; but to narrow the competition must always be against it, and can serve only to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. … It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.”
There is plenty of room for argument over the specifics offered by Biden’s July 9th executive order. I, a notorious archconservative, am giving abundant suspicious attention to its antitrust measures.
That said, Biden’s whole-of-government attack on noncompete agreements is supply-side (equitable-prosperity-inducing) economics at its finest.
As TechCrunch has observed, California’s prohibition of noncompete agreements is a key factor in making “Silicon Valley … the world’s most magical mixing chamber … home to the most exciting, creative and valuable companies on the planet.”
Biden is promising to unleash that recipe for prosperity in the other 49 states. Go, Joe!
Could Biden’s prohibition of noncompete agreements convert all of America into a “magical mixing chamber” of innovation and equitable prosperity? If he succeeds it will be, to quote Vice President Biden to President Obama on a hot mic in another context, “a big ******* deal.”
Joe Biden: "Capitalism is alive and very well."
Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply-Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $88T. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.