"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people...." --Adam Smith
Demo-gogue presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave a little-noticed stump speech this week that should've sent up countless red flags.
By now, all of us know about Clinton's re-warmed plans for socializing medicine, regulating healthcare services and providers and centralizing government control of about ten percent of the U.S. economy.
This week, however, Clinton went national with her classist "it takes a village" model, claiming that free-enterprise Capitalism is the root of all evil.
In a speech on "shared prosperity," she proclaimed that it's time to replace the conservative notion of an "ownership society" and economy with one based on communal responsibility and prosperity, alleging that the current system is really an "on your own" society that increases the income gap between "poor" and "rich" Americans.
Now, if Clinton is implying that individual initiative, self-reliance, responsibility and ingenuity -- the very foundation of free enterprise -- are the keys to creating wealth, then she is right. If she is implying that dependence upon the state and redistribution of income creates poverty, then she is right here, too -- but that was not her message.
"I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society," she went on. "I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none."
In a quintessential example of Clintonista doublespeak, Hillary outlined her economic fairness doctrine: "There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets, but markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed. Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the right government policies."
So, according to Ms. Clinton, free markets work best when they're constrained by the right government policies. In other words, free markets work best when they're not free.
Apparently Hillary has also been smoking Fidel's hand-rolled cigars. How else are we to account for her failure to recall that centralized economies, like that of the former Soviet Union, are doomed to fail and have cost millions of lives along the way?
Of course, Clinton's allusion to "rules" is Demo-code for taxation, which, as we know, is often the forcible transfer of wealth from one group to another. This taxation, in turn, creates reliable political constituencies for Democrats. As George Bernard Shaw once noted, "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul."