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Through the Looking Glass

Posted by Richard on February 26, 2010

At The Corner, Veronique de Rugy asked the question, "Is That Really What Free-Market Means?"

This morning, the New York Times reported that the president "defended his spending, tax and regulatory initiatives as the natural response to a historic economic crisis," and declared himself an "ardent believer in the free market," challenging "a line of criticism that has fueled discontent with his presidency." Obama said "the policies of his first year in office . . . 'were about saving the economy from collapse, not about expanding government's reach into the economy.'"

If the president's policies are the policies of a free-market president, then I will never call myself free market again. I have to say, I've felt this way often in the last eight years, especially when President Bush declared "I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system."

Also, according to Bloomberg News:

President Barack Obama said he and his administration have pursued a “fundamentally business-friendly” agenda and are “fierce advocates” for the free market, rejecting corporate criticism of his policies.

Why yes, this is what free-market means. At least when it's used by Barack "Humpty-Dumpty" Obama.

`I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master — that's all.'

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. `They've a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they're the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

Impenetrability, indeed.

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