A chance for the right and left to come together on free market reforms.
What is a free market? It is the free exchange of goods or services without intervention from coercive elements. In a free market price signals can be found. Too much of something? The price goes down. To little? The price goes up. It's a simple equation yet history has shown us that it is very difficult for humans to simply let the market work.
I won't get into whether the market always works. I basically believe that it does, but some good arguments can be made against my position in some very limited situations. Generally speaking however I think that most people would agree that a non manipulated market is a market that serves the most people and does the most "good."
What is interesting to me is that many folks on both the right and left agree on this principle. Sure there are those on the fringe who will argue that markets are somehow "immoral." But most Americans I believe just want a level playing field. The left doesn't want cozy deals for corporations and the rich, and the right doesn't want cozy deals for corporations and the rich. Whoa, hey, here's an area of real agreement.
Many on the left don't believe that the GOP would ever seek to end sweetheart deals for corporations. Many see the Republican Party as a vehicle by which companies game the system for their benefit. Many on the left do not believe in their heart of hearts that rank and file Republicans would ever be against special deals for "big oil" or "big agribusiness" or "big pharma" or especially "big finance."
Likewise many on the right don't believe that the left would ever give business a fair shake. But the distaste that many on the left have for business is not simply a hatred of all things business. What I sense is that many of my liberal friends mostly object to the "unfair" aggregation of power by businesses. They see an ever expanding Military Industrial Complex, bailouts to banks which result in big bonuses for a relative few, lax regulations for oil companies, and so on.
I'm here to tell you that there are many on the right who are ready to look very closely at the special deals many businesses have been able to garner for themselves. In a time of extreme economic challenge lots of folks who may have looked the other way before now recognize that such deals are unaffordable and frankly indefensible from a free market perspective.
I am also here to tell you that there are quite a few thought leaders on the left are open to the idea of freer markets so long as the special deals for many entrenched business interests are eliminated.
There is an emerging consensus on both the right and left that we must put our economic house in order. Eliminating sweetheart deals for businesses and unions could be an area where right and left can come together and actually get something done that would help the country at large.
At this moment I think it is on the left to reach back out to the right. Right now the GOP has extended a hand.
On Monday Speaker Boehner was interviewed by ABC News and he stated publicly that oil subsidies for instance are on the table.
Also this week at a town hall meeting House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said;
"We're talking about reforming the safety net, the welfare system; we also want to get rid of corporate welfare. And corporate welfare goes to agribusiness companies, energy companies, financial services companies, so we propose to repeal all that,"
In addition to these two very important statements this week, last month a letter released by the National Taxpayers Union and signed by 30 conservative groups including Heritage Action for America (part of the Heritage Foundation), Taxpayers for Common Sense, FreedomWorks, Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute called for the elimination of all energy subsidies and loan guarantees for the energy sector. This is a huge development. Subsidies are not free market, now it seems the freemarketeers are ready to come out and say it.
So, left, the ball is in your court. What are you bringing to the table?