I’m not particularly disposed to libertarianism, particularly the anarcho-capitalist strain represented by Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell, et al.
And yet, watching this financial crisis unfold and the government response, I recalled this quote from Lew Rockwell in a piece I wrote about Ron Paul last year:
“Ron Paul has shown that the core of the state is the Pentagon and the Federal Reserve.”
Considering the fact we’ve spent $800 billion on the War in Iraq, and will likely spend somewhere near a trillion(!) on whatever RTC-like entity Congress comes up with, this quote seems to have a certain prophetic heft.
It’s almost enough to make you think that the anarcho-capitalist (as well as anarcho-Marxist) critique of the state has some merit: times like this is really does look like the State exists to make war and protect capital.
But! I’m not ready to throw in the towel on my dreams of social democracy just yet:
Nouriel Roubini offers another model to deal with the bad assets, one that looks more appealing;
Barney Frank says any firm that gets bailed out should be forced to accept cahnges to their executive compensation, and;
Yglesias says we progressives should extract our pound(s) of flesh.