May 13, 2011

Central Planning versus Free Markets‏

Most people believe that the cold war battles of the 20th century scored a decisive victory for free markets over centrally planned societies. The reality however, is that the grip of central banking and state intervention has tightened while at the same time global economies have grown more interlinked and interdependent than ever. Individual states that try to chart a course of their own choosing will find it more and more difficult to do so, risking isolation in the process. Rather than the stability hoped for by the central planners, this will encourage greater weakness through lack of diversity and thereby ultimately hasten the demise of the system as a whole.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 – by Staff Report
Argentina's lower house of Congress approved money-laundering legislation just weeks ahead of an international review of the country's anti-money laundering and terrorist financing controls. The bill, which enjoyed the backing of President Cristina Fernandez, was passed with 181 votes in favor and 7 abstentions late Wednesday night, according to the lower house's website. The bill now moves to the senate, which is expected to pass the legislation before the end of the month. The Financial ActionTask Force – whose 34 member nations include the U.S. – has given Argentina until its next plenary meeting in June to demonstrate its commitment to beefing up its measures against money laundering and terrorism financing following a damning report published last year by the organization. – Dow Jones
Dominant Social Theme: It is necessary to control money and banks for the good of everyone. If fingerprinting is intrusive, we shall use retinal scans.
Free-Market Analysis: What's wrong with anti-money laundering legislation? Plenty if one is oriented toward libertarianism and free-market thinking. Drug-laws and central banks are the two main tools that the Anglo-American power elite is using to control the flow of money around the world and one can see these tools being applied in Argentina. The Financial Action Task Force (see article excerpt above) is increasingly active in demanding that countries control currency with great strictness.
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Robert M. Thornton

Central Planning: Side Door to Socialism

August 1965 • Volume: 15 • Issue: 8 • Print This Post • 1 comment
Mr. Thornton is a businessman in Coving­tonKentucky.
My thesis may be stated very simply: central planning will even­tually destroy individual liberty by concentrating all political power in one person or in a com­mittee; furthermore, it will even­tually end our prosperity by lay­ing the dead hand of state con­trol on the economy. Now there are doubtless some advocates of central planning who are well aware that this would spell the doom of individual liberty, but the great majority of people un­doubtedly believe that central planning is compatible with free­dom and prosperity. It is to the latter that my words are directed.
Let me begin by noting that the three great intellectual traditions—classical liberalism, conserva­tism, and whiggism—converge at this point, in their opposition to state planning.
In his monumental book, Human Action, Dr. Ludwig von Mises, a classical liberal, has this to say on central planning:
The truth is that the alternative is not between a dead mechanism or a rigid automatism on one hand and conscious planning on the other hand. The alternative is not plan or no plan. The question is whose planning? Should each member of society plan for himself, or should a benevolent government alone plan for them all? The issue is not auto­matism versus conscious action; it is autonomous action of each in­dividual versus the exclusive action of the government. It is freedom versus government omnipotence.
Laissez faire does not mean: Let soulless mechanical forces operate. It means: Let each individual choose how he wants to cooperate in the social division of labor; let the con­sumers determine what the entre­preneurs should produce. Planning means: Let the government alone choose and enforce its rulings by the apparatus of coercion and compul­sion. (p. 726)

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