Friday, April 17, 2009

Why Obama’s experiment will fail, why free markets will succeed … “The Commanding Heights” is still the bible

As our country lurches down the path to a state controlled economy, a road others like China, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland an the rest of Eastern Europe have traveled, only in the reverse direction, we should look at the reasons the Obama experiment will fail. It will fail because the practitioners of state control, where they still exist are abject failures, as were their communist predecessors. Cuba and North Korea are prime examples. Founded in idealism, loved by the left, their people live in misery. Other nations now following the wrong trail are Venezuela and Bolivia, where seizures and price controls are destroying their economies. Probably the best book on the subject is The Commanding Heights that documents the reversal away from Keynesian economics and the march to Hayek's market based approach. In the late 70s, Great Britain was considered the “basket case of Europe” and the US mired in the malaise of stagflation. Both Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan became the standard bearers for a revolution that brought unparalleled prosperity to their nations. From PBS’s storyline on The Commanding Heights: But in the 1970s, with Keynesian theory at its height and communism fully entrenched, economic stagnation sets in on all sides. When a British grocer's daughter and a former Hollywood actor become heads of state, they join forces around the ideas of Hayek, and new political and economic policies begin to transform the world. And more: Worldwide, the strategies of government planning are failing to produce their intended results. From Bolivia and Peru to Poland and Russia, the free-market policies of Thatcher and Reagan are looked to as a possible blueprint for escape. One by one, economies in crisis adopt "shock therapy" -- a rapid conversion to free-market capitalism If you can’t spend the time reading it, PBS produced a made for TV six hour series that is faithful to the book and riveting to watch. Once into it, you will be hard pressed to turn it off. It is available free in a streaming version from PBS or purchased on a DVD from Amazon. It will become the bible for the road back to sanity.

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