Transcript: Thom Hartmann: There are no Free Market Fairies. 10 November '11

We might be on the verge of an unprecedented global economic meltdown.

But if you watched the Republican debate and you're really, really gullible - you might think there's an easy fix to all our troubles.

From the European debt crisis - to the jobs crisis here at home - to the health crisis - to the looming energy crisis - to the housing crisis - to the student loan debt crisis - you name the crisis - there's a one-size-fits-all solution to it - and all the Republicans on stage last night did not shy away from talking about it.

That solution - let the so-called "free market" work it's magic:

Ron Paul: Right now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are demanding more money because we don't allow the market to determine what these mortgages are worth.

Rick Perry: we are not going to pick winners and losers from Washington, D.C., that we are going to trust the capital markets and the private sector to make the decisions, and let the consumers pick winners and losers.

Rick Santorum: I'm going to cut all the subsidies out and let the market work, as opposed to creating incentives for different -- different forms of energy that the government supports... we let the marketplace work.

Ron Paul: You have to have the market determine interest rates if you want a healthy, viable economy.

Mitt Romney: You have to let the market work and get people in the homes again... You'll see home prices come back up if we allow this market to work.

Herman Cain: I would find a way to unwind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, such that the marketplace can determine the future of the housing market.

Jon Huntsman: we need to close the gap on the uninsured without a costly mandate, letting the free market work and bringing people together with truly affordable insurance.

Michele Bachmann: That's the free market.

53 million people uninsured. The free market will fix it!

Greece and Italy are about to drag the entire global banking system into a depression? The free market will fix that too!

Student loan debt topped a trillion bucks for the first time? Leave it up to the free market to fix it.

Republicans have one talking point - just one solution to all our problems - and that's hyping up the power of the so-called free market - or in Herman Cain's case - hyping up the power of his 9-9-9 plan AND the free market.

But let's think about that for a moment - what exactly does it mean?

What does "let the free market work", what does that really mean when they say that?

Does it mean to remove government - and deregulate everything?

Because we already saw how that worked - repealing Glass-Steagal - repealing reserve requirements - repealing derivatives regulations - all leading to the stock market bubbling, then crashing and burning - just like what happened in the 1920s after the free market was deregulated in 1921 by President Harding, whose slogan was - literally this was his election slogan - "less government in business, more business in government".

We saw what lack of regulations did in the BP oil disaster in the Gulf last year that killed 11 men - or in the Massey mine disaster that killed 38 people.

When you get rid of all the rules - and the referees - then the market will inevitably descend into chaos - and sometimes even people die.

Yeah, it might generate a boat load of wealth for the one percenters at the top for a little bit - but then - as has happened every time free marketeers have succeeded in letting the "free market" work - it all comes crashing down.

Imagine if you went to a baseball game - and there were no rules - there were no umpires - there were no balls and strikes - no limit to how many people were on the field - no foul ball lines - no specific order to the bases...what kind of game would you see played out?

It'd be chaos - complete and utter chaos.

The Republican reply to this?

Let the team with the most money determine the rules of the game.

They can get five strikes, they can move the pitcher's mound closer, they can get a home run with just three bases.

And the team with less money? They have to work with a different set of rules where if the umpires catch them breaking even small rules, their guys are thrown out of the game forever.

This is, in essence, how Mitt Romney gamed the system for years with Bain, buying companies, changing their rules, laying off their people, moving their production overseas, and taking millions for himself while he let you and me pay for the unemployment expenses for his former employees.

It's the Republican way, and it has nothing to do with anything that's "free" - it's about markets where the rich, and the rich alone, rule and set the rules.

So when the Republicans talk about letting the "free market" work - they might as well be saying let the free market fairies wave their magic wands and everything will be just fine.

You know, if a candidate on stage last night was asked - how will you solve the problems in the housing market - and he or she responded by saying, "Oh, I'd tell government regulators to step aside and put a team of magic fairies to work fixing everything" - would anyone take that candidate seriously ever again?

No...or maybe they would...they still take Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann seriously.

But joking aside - that's pretty much exactly what every Republican candidate on that stage was saying last night...let the magic fairies of the free market solve all our problems....

It's time to cut through the B.S. - and stop accepting the so-called "free market" as a magic elixir to all our problems.

Ron Paul: Right now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are demanding more money because we don't allow the

fairies

to determine what these mortgages are worth.

Rick Perry: we are not going to pick winners and losers from Washington, D.C., that we are going to trust the

magical fairies

and the private sector to make the decisions, and let the consumers pick winners and losers.

Rick Santorum: I'm going to cut all the subsidies out and let the

fairies

work, as opposed to creating incentives for different -- different forms of energy that the government supports... we let the

fairies

work.

Ron Paul: You have to have the

fairies

determine interest rates if you want a healthy, viable economy.

Mitt Romney: You have to let the

fairies

work and get people in the homes again... You'll see home prices come back up if we allow this

fairies

to work.

Herman Cain: I would find a way to unwind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, such that

magical fairies

can determine the future of the housing market.

Jon Huntsman: we need to close the gap on the uninsured without a costly mandate, letting the

fairies

work and bringing people together with truly affordable insurance.

Michele Bachmann: That's

magical fairies.

You know it's time to cut through the B.S. - and stop accepting the so-called "free market" fairy stuff as a magic elixir to all our problems. By the way, credit to Paul Krugman for coming up with the phrase "free market fairies"

Because all it is - in reality - is a poll-tested phrase, "free market" - just like "job creator" is a poll-tested phrase - to get average, low-information voters to nod their heads - and blindly follow the lead of the millionaires and billionaires who are perfectly happy in the perpetual boom-bust cycles of a free-market economy - where banksters get the boom - and we all get stuck with the bust.

There is no magical free market - there are no fairies - no secret green elves - no unicorns - no Loch Ness monster - and, more than likely, no abominable snowmen.

But there ARE real solutions - solutions that have been tried in the past and worked really well.

Solutions like raising taxes on the rich - putting regulations on the banksters - setting trade tariffs - weaving a strong social safety net - and protecting the rights of workers to unionize and organize into labor unions - basically none of the stuff you heard in the Republican debate.

Those are the real solutions we need - and not the nonsense you hear spewed from Republicans on a daily basis.

That's The Big Picture.

Who Will Stop World War III?

Thom plus logo Back in 2001, after 9/11, Congress gave the president the authority to basically wage war anywhere in the world where there were governments affiliated with Al Qaeda, the radical Sunni Muslim group that came out of the Saudi Wahhabist movement. Iran is Shia Muslim, essentially the sworn enemies of the Sunnis.

Latest Headlines

Who rejected United States-North Korea peace talks?

There were conflicting reports on Sunday regarding a recent proposal for United States-North Korea peace talks which was allegedly made before North Korea"s recent nuclear test

U.K. Pound Falls As Markets Get Brexit Jitters

Bloomberg said on Monday the pound had sustained its biggest fall against the dollar in 11 months

Clinton: I'll defend Israel but push for 'two-state solution

Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz "missed the mark" with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a literary descendent of Ben Franklin and Tom Paine. His unflinching observations and deep passion inspire us to explore contemporary culture, politics, and economics; challenge us to face the facts of the societies we are creating; and empower us to demand a better world for our children and grandchildren."
John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestselling book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy