The Left's Two Cents Is Worth Less Than the Said Amount
Stuart K. Hayashi
In the Wednesday, April 9, 2003 edition of Hawaii's second-favorite left-biased periodical, the Honolulu Weekly (which many young people probably only read for its excellent coverage of the dance club scene, especially by the wonderful Jason Paz), ran a silly editorial by one Philip Mattera, which covers what the Left may consider to be one of the most heinous atrocities the U.S. could possibly inflict on Iraq.
Do you know what that awful thing is?
Gassing Kurds like Saddam did?
Oppressing Shiite Muslims, again, like Saddam did?
Urging Saddam's son, Uday Hussein, to serial-rape more women?
Says Mr. Mattera, "A number of conservative think tank denizens and other analysts have been arguing for months that the post-Saddam Hussein economy shoudl be restructured according the principles of [Nobel Prize-winning economist] Milton Friedman."
Milton Friedman is spectacular!!! (He's also the only free-market economist other than Adam Smith whom leftist UH professor Peter Manicas seems to mention a lot on his website.) Here's a link to a speech that George W. Bush gave in honor of M. Friedman.
But Mattera goes on: "Since the war began, the Bush Administration has avoided talking about the business boon being created in Iraq for U.S. and other foreign corporations."
He concludes: "Toe the victor go the spoils, it is said. In the case of this war, the spoils will be going to the victor's business allies as they bring a distinctly corporate form of liberation to the people of Iraq." You can read that same editorial online at:
I have a question: Now that Saddam is gone and the Iraqis have to get on with their lives, from what source are Iraqis supposed to procure the goods and services they need to survive (such as food)? Would Honolulu Weekly prefer that the U.S. just put the Iraqis on a massive food stamps program, at the expense of American taxpayers for the next consecutive thirty years? (Probably.)
What Honolulu Weekly likes to evade is that greedy corporations exist only insofar as they are able provide people with the stuff they want (at least, if they're not highly subsidized, and corporate subsidies are an outgrowth of the welfare state and not individualist free-market capitalism) and at affordable prices ('cause if your target customers don't have enough money to buy what you're selling, they don't buy it and you end up with zippo).
And Iraqis have to consume earthian matter to survive, just as all humans do. If corporations can provide such goods and services, they are of benefit to Iraq. That's not a "corporate" thing; it's a human thing.
Earlier, a valued acquaintance of mine asked how the Left would react when they would finally see Iraq discover democratic republicanism and free markets. In the weeks to come, we can expect more kvetching about "America imposing its crass material commercialism on the indigenous Iraqis."
But it's not McDonald's that needs to stay out of the Middle East. It's the leftists who've interfered too much with the Iraqi conflict already, and it's about time they leave the indigenous Arabs alone. In other words: "Laissez faire, lefties!!"