Daniel Henninger: Capitalism Saved the Miners

A couple of days ago I pondered whether the main street media would cover the role of the U.S. in assisting the rescue. They did cover it, even giving some mention of the role of faith and prayer. Kudos for that. President Obama even acknowledged the role of American enterprise (in fact it was a multi-national business effort). Good for him in that. But will that faint praise alter the political rhetoric against capitalism? I bristle at the forces that would move America away from capitalism … the business of America IS business and it has done wonders for all of mankind in every corner of the world. Are there faults where change is needed? Of course, as with every endeavor. But really now …. Consider this fine article:

Amid the boundless human joy of the miners’ liberation, it may seem churlish to make such a claim. It is churlish. These are churlish times, and the stakes are high.In the United States, with 9.6% unemployment, a notably angry electorate will go to the polls shortly and dump one political party in favor of the other, on which no love is lost. The president of the U.S. is campaigning across the country making this statement at nearly every stop:

“The basic idea is that if we put our blind faith in the market and we let corporations do whatever they want and we leave everybody else to fend for themselves, then America somehow automatically is going to grow and prosper.”

Uh, yeah. That’s a caricature of the basic idea, but basically that’s right. Ask the miners.

via Daniel Henninger: Capitalism Saved the Miners – WSJ.com.

Henninger goes on to make the case quite handsomely. Read it. He describes in great detail how the profit motive is fundamental to the successes that were brought to bear in the accomplished rescue. The rescue was not a miracle — it was entrepreneurship at its finest that put the tools and technology in place.

But that capability is in ever-increasing danger, as Henninger capsulizes so succinctly:

The U.S. has a government led by a mindset obsessed with 250K-a-year “millionaires” and given to mocking “our blind faith in the market.” In a fast-moving world filled with nations intent on catching up with or passing us, this policy path is a waste of time.

America is a great country that has always been full of hope and change. We don’t need a bunch of ivory-tower professors to try to change fundamental American principles.

In fairness, there are criticisms of the business world that can be made in connection with the Chilean mine accident, as discussed in the Huffington Post article linked below. But a balanced view taken across the entire landscape and over the entire history of America, can fairly yield a conclusion no less than that free enterprise, especially within a constitutional republic, has advanced the human condition like no other system has done — or will do.

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