The Blog

New Capitalism

Market capitalism in the United States will never be the same.

12:00 AM, Sep 26, 2008 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Meanwhile, John McCain is railing against Wall Street bankers and assorted other villains, including most notably short sellers. And promising to fund huge training programs to enable workers displaced by trade to find new jobs in growth industries--the intelligent man's alternative to protectionism.

Both do have a tiny problem: they have made promises they cannot possibly keep, now that the government has taken uncounted billions onto its balance sheet. McCain will find it impossible to cut the corporate tax rate, and Obama to spend billions on infrastructure, alternative energy and an expansion of the social programs dear to his party.

None of this is meant to do more than catalogue the changes that are occurring far from the glare of the headlines that instead report day-to-day fluctuations in markets and in the progress of various bail-out plans. Those changes will undoubtedly deny us of some of the benefits of the creativity and dynamism of a capitalism in which failure was a greater goad to achievement. Sic gloria transit mundi.

Irwin M. Stelzer is a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD, director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute, and a columnist for the Sunday Times (London).