Bush: “Free-market capitalism is far more than an economic theory. It is the engine of social mobility — the highway to the American Dream. And it is what transformed America from a rugged frontier to the greatest economic power in history — a nation that gave the world the steamboat and the airplane, the computer and the CAT scan, the Internet and the iPod.”
Capping all this off, Bush said, “The triumph of free-market capitalism has been proven across time, geography, culture, and faith. And it would be a terrible mistake to allow a few months of crisis to undermine 60 years of success.”
That reference to 60 years harkens back to the original post-WWII economic-rebuilding conference held in Bretton Woods, N.H., in July 1944. At that historic meeting, the U.S. and Britain led 170 delegates from around the world into a new era of free markets, free trade, and stable currencies. It was a conference of global coordination that broke down the isolationist and protectionist sentiments that upset the world order so badly during the prior 15 years.
Ultimately, the free-market system forged at Bretton Woods, which was in no small way predicated on economic prosperity, led to a triumph of Western values over Soviet state socialism.
And it was President Reagan — along with his friend, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — who applied the final blow to the now-defunct Soviet system with his rejuvenation of free-market capitalism.
So what George W. Bush seems to be saying is this: Do not discard that triumphal system just because we’ve had a rough year in the financial markets and the economy.
In a few weeks Barack Obama will inherit the mantle of the capitalist system. What will he do with this responsibility? That’s the question being asked everywhere.
... Investors want to know if economic rewards will be encouraged or penalized. Will trade remain open and free? Will we maintain competitive businesses that can compete worldwide? Or will we resort to the protection of ailing or failed businesses?
Will the U.S. lurch toward the semi-socialism of Old Europe? Or will we stay with free-market capitalism? Will we expand the nanny-state economy? Or will we keep the door wide open to entrepreneurial spirit and gales of creative destruction?
Investors want to know which way President-elect Obama is going to go. Might he reach back to the Democratic pro-growth supply-side policies of John F. Kennedy’s tax cuts, free trade, and strong dollar? Will he opt for Bill Clinton’s free-trade and strong-dollar policies, or even his capital-gains tax cut? Or will he fall back to the hopeless government tinkering of Jimmy Carter or the welfare-statism of Lyndon Johnson?
- BUSH DID WHAT WAS RIGHT IN IRAQ, DESPITE THE POLITICAL COST TO HIMSELF AND THE GOP.
- THIS TOOK COURAGE AND A COMMITMENT TO PRINCIPLES.
- THERE'S NOTHING IN OBAMA'S LIFE WHICH MAKES ME FEEL HE CAN DO THE SAME ON ANY ISSUE.
- THAT'S WHY I FEEL HE WON'T DO THE RIGHT THING ON THE ECONOMY, BUT WILL ASSUAGE HIS MINIONS, HIS MACHINE AND HIS ADORING CULTISTS.
- TO THE NATIONS HARM.