Michael Rozeff asks, Does Donald Trump believe in free enterprise? And the answer is, of course, NO. Donald Trump does not believe in free enterprise, free-market capitalism, he believes in government, and in central planning. What the Trump Administration is going to impose will be violations of and obstructions of free markets even more than what the Obama Administration has done.
First, Trump does not believe in free markets in international trade. Like other nationalists and collectivists, Trump does not want consumers and producers to have their freedom to trade with others. Trump wants government controls over the people’s trade matters. He believes in “fair trade,” not free trade. To Donald Trump, “fair” is Donald Trump controlling and deciding who gets to buy and sell with others, who the winners and losers will be.
In contrast, free market capitalism and free enterprise is this: you as a consumer can trade voluntarily with any producers or sellers anywhere in the world, and it’s none of the government’s business, and it’s none of Donald Trump’s business. As long as you are peaceful, as long as you don’t steal or defraud, otherwise you have a right to be left alone. Your having the freedom to buy the highest quality goods or services at the lowest price on the free market, that’s free-market capitalism, free enterprise.
And you as a producer have a right to sell to anyone anywhere in the world, and it’s none of Donald Trump’s business, and none of the damn government’s business. This is especially important when, as a producer, you need quality capital goods to contribute to your business’s success. Your freedom to buy whatever capital goods you want at the lowest price, anywhere else in the world — that’s free enterprise.
But The Donald thinks, or I should say feels, otherwise. He wants the government to control everything, he wants price controls, tariffs, taxes, you name it, he wants these socialist, central-planning intrusions that will violate your freedom, and obstruct your prosperity. But like many other interventionists, Trump convinces himself that his policies are for our own good, or will improve matters.
Another area: immigration central planning. A lot of people who are part of the anti-immigration crowd really like Donald Trump’s nationalistic promise to put a government wall on the border, as well as strengthen all the bureaucratic obstructions to foreigners’ ability to get work within the U.S. This, too, goes against free-market capitalism. The immigration controls currently in place also include controls on labor and employment. These controls are a part of socialism and central planning, not free-market capitalism. I know, some readers are going away and clicking on another blog, because they just don’t want to hear that. The conservative, nationalistic Trump supporters (and the conservative “Never-Trumpers” as well) who want controls on immigration find it very difficult to hear or accept that they are supporting socialism and central planning in immigration, labor and employment. But that is exactly what they support.
In contrast, in genuine free-market capitalism, free enterprise, any worker may exercise one’s right to freedom of travel and freedom of movement to go to where one can find employment, and others who are willing buyers for the worker’s products or services can hire him, without the permission of bureaucrats, as long as one is peaceful and as long as one doe not violate anyone else’s person or property. Unfortunately, many people are collectivists, and think in terms of collectively-owned territory, not private property and private property rights. And private property also includes privately-owned homes and businesses, contracts and trades. The general population and its ruling centralized government class have no legitimate ownership claims on the private property, homes, businesses, contracts and trades of others without being voluntarily included by the private owners. Those who want government controls and intrusions into the private economic activities of others don’t realize that they are supporting the same kind of covetousness we see from the leftists’ interventionist policies.
Am I repeating myself? I know, I’ve been writing those things quite a lot now. Sorry to sound like a broken record. But a lot of people seem to assume that because Donald Trump is a “businessman” therefore he advocates capitalism, or free markets. But no, that is not the case. Nor is it the case with many Americans, and many conservatives who think they believe in “free markets,” alas.
Donald Trump is also against free markets in the medical care and insurance industries. For many years he has been advocating nationalized, universal health care. And this past year in interviews he has promoted an expanded medicaid-for-all scheme, but says he wants “competition,” and so forth. Here he is with Scott Pelley:
However, even though Trump says he wants private competition, when he says that he still wants the government to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves, he is really advocating a public option, which, as the leftist schemers know well, will eventually put the free-market insurers out of business, because the government insurer need not worry about competing.
So, when it is pointed out to him that what he’s talking about is “single payer,” he says no it’s not single payer, it’s called heart. You have to have a lot of compassion, “I don’t want people dying on the streets,” and so on. (Although, it really is with government-controlled or government-run medical care, such as in the U.K. and Canada that Trump praises, in which there are people dying on the streets, or in the hospital hallways.)
You see, with the left-liberal progressive Trump it’s all emotion and no rational thought. Policies should be based on “compassion,” not morality and practicality. In the old days, before the New Deal and the Great Society, most people were taken care of, if not by their families then by charities. The progressive interventionists have exploited and taxed the people to the point of making it very difficult for private charities to care for the poor. And also in the old days, doctors would treat patients for free if they couldn’t afford medical care, such as Dr. Ron Paul in his medical practice, and the late dermatologist Cleveland R. Denton.
But now, sadly, doctors assume that government’s socialized medicare and medicaid will take care of the poor. The doctors themselves are being fleeced by the gubmint, and now because the central-planing bureaucrats are usurping the medical care and insurance industries, doctors will eventually be government employees.
If only Donald Trump could drop his “fatal conceit,” as F.A. Hayek would call it, and drop his adoration for central planning as the savior of society’s ills, when it is in fact the main cause of society’s ills.