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Mixed Bag and Ideology
on July 4, 2011
There are many issues that Pat Choate presents in this book that I feel are genuine concerns for any American. For instance, NAFTA, GATT, CAFTA, the fact that the FDA only checks 1% of imports, that China has and continues to benefit from the U.S. relinquishing her best interests, advancing militarism, etc.
A big BUT is that just because someone may share sentiments about ills does not mean there is shared sentiments about cures. Pat Choate's cures are more of the same, and I feel that is due to his ideology being fundamentally incorrect. I had many bones to pick with his misinformation- whether it was intentional or not. First, Choate obviously understands Laissez-Faire differently from most explanations. Laissez-Faire, French name (not Scottish/English) due to being propounded by the French, is an environment between private parties without State intervention. It opposes governmental interference. Secondly, Adam Smith (Scottish) did not only NOT coin the term Laissez-Faire, but he was also NOT a vocal proponent of Laissez-Faire.
Choate fails at explaining Laissez-Faire or the free-trade Capitalism that Smith propounded. He then devotes an entire book railing against "free-trade" as if NAFTA, GATT, and CAFTA are actual examples of such. He appropriately describes how D.C. is for sale, how there is an ossification of political insiders, how governments are managing economies, etc. At the same time stating that these "managed" economies are some how the fault of unfettered Capitalism. If anything, these are all examples of Fascism, but once again a misleading economist fails to point this out.
This leads to my disagreement with his cures for the ills presented in this book. Choate calls for more of the same. If a government program is underfunded and incompetent, Choate's solution is to add more programs as the cure. If America is losing her sovereignty to Unconstitutional world administrations, Choate's solution is to demand more Americanized rules to the game.
Rather than Choate cheerleading for a sovereign America, he seems to be capitulating a need for global governance over trade. If anything, this should be clear to the reader that global governance is anything BUT Laissez-Faire; and that NAFTA is an example of something he would support (government interference). Choate not only misinforms his readers, but contradicts himself throughout the book. To him unfettered Capitalism and Laissez-Faire are bad, but he also has issues with managed trade (such as NAFTA) and incorrectly blames it on Capitalism. It would be interesting to read Choate's explanation of Fascism considering he's already used it for Capitalism.