Are Free Markets and Political Freedom Interrelated? Part II

A few weeks ago, we briefly mused that countries with mostly free market systems also had mostly-free political systems. In today’s column, George Will makes a similar point: that the more the Obama administration takes over our economic system and transforms it into a savior-based economy, the greater its ability to suppress political dissent and control political outcomes.

Says Will, “The Obama administration is bold. It also is careless regarding constitutional values and is acquiring a tincture of lawlessness.” That’s a bold statement, but one that is unfortunately increasingly true. Will concludes,

The Obama administration’s agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of “economic planning” and “social justice” that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail. The administration’s central activity — the political allocation of wealth and opportunity — is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.

Some of the administration’s activities, especially in regards to the auto and bank bailouts, channel third-world thugs such as Hugo Chavez. No, the president isn’t a thug. But his desire to control vast swaths of the economic system is a dangerous step towards less economic freedom–which almost unfailingly leads to less political freedom.

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