The Road to Serfdom
As you may have heard, Herman Cain is planning on forming an exploratory committee for a presidential run in 2012. I’m not surprised. Cain has always held ambition to hold elected office. He ran for the United States Senate here in Georgia in 2004; losing to now-Senator Johnny Isakson without a runoff.
Many don’t realize that this isn’t the first time Cain, who once served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, has discussed a presidential bid. As Matt Lewis has noted, Cain ran for president in 2000.
Like many conservatives, Cain has used the tea party movement as a platform to build up his name and slam the policies of Barack Obama and Democrats. Unfortunately, the criticism of Obama and friends inside the tea party movement is no longer limited to economic policy.
However, Cain was largely silent during the six years of runaway spending under the Bush Administration and a Republican-controlled Congress. Like most Republicans, he only acknowledged his party’s failings after it was too late to do anything about it.
He backed the Wall Street bailout, or according to Cain, the “recovery plan,” as he called it on his radio show. Cain wrote that nationalizing banks “is not a bad thing.” He even went as far as criticizing opponents of the bailout, calling them “free market purists” and absurdly claiming that no valid criticism had been brought forward.
Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament, recently spoke at the Cato Institute in a forum on his new book, The New Road to Serftdom: A Letter of Warning to America, where he warned of a creeping socialism in the the United States and urges us to embrace limited government:
Hoping to deflect accusations that he is a socialist, President Barack Obama told reporters that he believes in the free market:
Speaking to the Business Roundtable, which groups some of the country’s top chief executives, Obama called for support of his administration’s efforts to overhaul financial regulation and create jobs.
Obama’s remarks were set against a backdrop of unease in the business community about his economic and budget policies as well as his legislative drive for healthcare, energy and financial regulatory reform.
“Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, I am an ardent believer in the free market,” Obama said in prepared remarks.
Obama said his efforts to enact sweeping legislation to overhaul financial regulations and set caps on carbon emissions to fight climate change were not aimed at thwarting businesses.
“We have arrived at a juncture in our politics where reasonable efforts to update our regulations, or make basic investments in our future, are too often greeted with cries of ‘government takeover’ or even ‘socialism’,” Obama said.
Russ Roberts and John Papola finally released their video, “Fear the Boom and Bust.” The story of the song is based on F.A. Hayek and John Maynard Keynes coming back to life and spending a night on the town the evening before an economic conference on the economic crisis.
You can download the song and read the lyrics here.