Democratic Underground

The Madness of the Free Market Right
August 20, 2001
by Confuscious

The word "free" is interpreted in many different ways. What comes to mind you think "free country"? Freedom of speech? Freedom from slavery? Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure? The constitution originally connotated "free" as freedom from "British rule" (because at that time that's how we were governed) but insofar there has been different interpretations and we may never know the present meaning of the word unless we exume Thomas Jefferson's head and find some state-of-the-art science to read his mind.

The American Right-wing has their own idea when it comes to "free" or "free country": Free enterprise. And I don't mean a dutch auction of necklaces on eBay, buying something for one price and selling it higher, or even a measely $5,000 mutual fund. The Free market community doesn't give a hoot about those things - I'm talking large, expensive profits (in the hundreds of thousands of dollars), a product or service that makes its speed through consumer traffic, and/or something owned by a huge corporation. If the targeted-social class of Bush's tax cut was any indicator, that is the perception of "free", "free country" and "free enterprise".

Unfortunately, not every schlepp who voted Republican in this election understands that. The Republican mindfuck - "Democrats are socialists" - brainwashed some really poor gooses into believing that they would fiscally benefit during Bush administration. Sadly, only the more wealthy of this mentality will have the full advantage.

But, not long ago, a group of these nutzos got a taste of their own medicine during the California "Energy Crisis." In a conservative central California town a GOP Representative was forced by his constituents to issue price caps and regulation when electricity companies started to gauge the prices. For once, a Republican politico felt that his own voters were his priority, even if it meant risking future campaign funds from the major contributer of his being elected into office.

Remember, whenever you see a politician defending high energy prices, or big business for the matter, consider who contributed to their campaign. I remember when I saw a U.S. House Representative in my state on the local news claiming that Governor Gray Davis' (CA) persuasion for price caps and regulation was a "big step in the wrong direction." Little did we know, without looking at http://www.opensecrets.org, that this GOP House member received nearly $100,000 from utility companies, gas, electric, air conditioning, in campaign donations!

You now know the meaning of the Free Market Right. It may not always mean Republican (often, they come in Libertarian incarnates) and when not yearning for no taxes, no background checks at gun shows, or no government departments, they may actually be less extreme on issues like the war on drugs, civil asset forfeiture or abortion. But regardless, they will come howling in major support of Republican candidates because they feel the Republican Party is closer in "less government regulation of business" than Democrats. Everyone knows that's not the case.

But just remember the Republican mentality of Free market - it's not about entrepeneurship, or selling items on an auction site, it's corporate welfare in exchange for power. I have no choice but to label anyone without a huge private investment, who endorses the philosophy, as a fool.

 
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