Milton Lost - Can We Regain Paradise?
Date: Tuesday, November 21 2006
Milton Lost - Can We
By Jason Miller
[I dedicate this essay to the untold millions who suffered as a result of Milton Friedman's creation of an intellectual bulwark for economic brutality. On 11/16/06, Friedman died of heart failure, an ironic cause of death for a heartless individual.]
We have reached the deplorable circumstance where in large measure a very powerful few are in possession of the earth's resources, the land and its riches and all the franchises and other privileges that yield a return. These positions are maintained virtually without taxation; they are immune to the demands made on others. The very poor, who have nothing, are the object of compulsory charity. And the rest -- the workers, the middle-class, the backbone of the country -- are made to support the lot by their labor.
----Agnes George de Mille (granddaughter of Henry George), New York, 1979
Note that Ms. George de Mille penned her observations before the patron saint of the "have mores" established residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In less than three decades, a Friedman-inspired Reagan and his successors made astounding gains for the "very powerful" de Mille described.
Reagan wielded the scalpel that emasculated organized labor and convinced America that "regulation" is a four letter word. George H.W. Bush further crippled unions and condemned many poor Mexicans to corporate exploitation through his relentless efforts to make NAFTA a reality. Convincing the multitude of his compassion and empathy, Clinton proceeded to sign NAFTA into law and cheerfully eviscerated public assistance.
Embarking on a "divine mission, George W. Bush has taken "free trade", deregulation, fiscal strangulation of social programs, enervation of We the People, and militarism to breath-taking heights. In spite of W's failure to eliminate the "Death Tax", Milton Friedman is beaming with pride as the flames of eternal damnation incinerate his corporeal shell and render his wicked soul vulnerable to the divine castigation he so richly deserves.
Consider the words of Henry George, a US American economic and political thinker who advocated a balance of free markets, government regulation, and social programs:
The forces of the new era have not yet had time to make status hereditary, but we may clearly see that when the industrial organization compels a thousand workmen to take service under one master, the proportion of masters to men will be but as one to a thousand, though the one may come from the ranks of the thousand. "Master"! We don't like the word. It is not American! But what is the use of objecting to the word when we have the thing? The man who gives me employment, which I must have or suffer, that man is my master, let me call him what I will.
---Henry George, 1883