Response to “Inequality-Crisis or Scam” by Pat Buchanan

Ok, readers of this blog know the drill.  I see a god awful article on some mainstream libertarian site and I summarize everything I find wrong with it here.  Today’s subject is this piece by Pat Buchanan (who buy the way is not even a libertarian).   Here goes:

Good grief.  Rockwell really should throw Buchanan under he bus.  He is largely just regurgitating establishmentarian republican talking points here, and he even uses the unambiguously corporatist and neoconservative Heritage Foundation as a source.  While I acknowledge that the type of State enforced equality of outcome found in Maoist China, was horrific to say the least, I also recognize that extreme disparities between the rich and poor, as well as huge concentrations of wealth are generally not signs of societal health, and in our case our actually a sign of government mischief.

A  major portion of the wealth of that is concentrated of the hands of this county’s economic elites comes largely from government rigging of the economy on their behalf.  Nearly all of the wealthiest households contain someone, who has decision making power in a firm that is involved in government contracting (often through the military), is directly subsidized or is in someway sheltered from the competition.  Furthermore,  a substantial portion of the taxes Buchanan complains that richest Americans paying, actually get evaded.

A substantial percentage of the richest firms today have business models that depend on government contracts or direct subsidies (especially military and agricultural sectors, pharmaceuticals), government granted monopolies in the form of patents and copyright (your entertainment. tech and pharmaceuticals), government infrastructure and shelter from competition (your Walmarts, Mcdonalds and all the big box retailers), government granted protection form liability and  government granted access to government (aka stolen) land (the big extraction firms).

It would be one thing to be an apologist for the super wealthy, if their wealth was actually achieved on a free market or anything resembling one.  Alas, most of it was not.  The libertarian mainstream, which Rockwell represents, needs to stop kissing up to the rich and powerful and pretending that the market is not rigged on their behalf.  It is dishonest, and unbecoming of the movement.

Also, I hate and despise the canard that Buchanan repeats here, that anyone who shows any concern about the poor or questions the huge wealth concentrations in this country must be motivated by “envy that others have more, and coveting the goods of the more successful”.  This is often repeated and it is  As best as I can tell, most people questioning this country’s distribution of wealth have other motives, and often genuine concern (this is unusually true even in cases where I disagree with their proposal to solve the problem, For example, Warren Buffet says the rich should pay more taxes, and yet I doubt he is motivated by envy {perhaps that is a bad example,  since Buffet is about as corporatist as they come}). The idea of an undoubtedly quite wealthy former Nixon/Reagan administration official and media personality (like Buchanan), gloating that that anyone who cares about the poor is just jealous, is super unbecoming and obnoxious.

Anyway, libertarians need to stop confusing the status quo with their  ideal and start vocalizing what a huge threat a little competition would be to the oligarchic elites that Buchanan seems so badly to defend. 

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2 Responses to Response to “Inequality-Crisis or Scam” by Pat Buchanan

  1. Pingback: The Politics of Spanking | Hipster Racist

  2. Pingback: The Hell with Pat Buchanan and his Ronald Reagan Worship | The Wilson Report

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