"These measures are not intended to take over the free market, but to preserve it," George W. Bush said in Orwellian tones Tuesday as he announced the partial nationalization of nine major American banks.
He was partly right, though not in the way he meant his words. There is no free financial market to take over. But that means there is no free market to preserve either. The moves he announced, which include government part-ownership of smaller banks too, were just more, albeit big, steps along the corporatist route the country has been following for generations.
The rest of this week's TGIF, "Capitalism or Freedom," is at the Foundation for Economic Education website.