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The Wall Street Journal Defends the Predator State

• Mises
 Today I want to focus on a regular Wall Street Journal columnist who praises the Obama administration's plans to violate property rights in pursuit of socializing medical care. The conventional dichotomy between "liberal" and "conservative" newspapers is spurious: all major news organizations support the welfare-warfare state. Who's the Predator — the Government or Corporations?

Wall Street Journal columnist Thomas Frank starts his piece with the angle that everyone on Capitol Hill took his advice to read James K. Galbraith's book The Predator State, which concerns the capture of government agencies by corporate special interests. Frank then expresses dismay that many Republican politicians have apparently misunderstood his advice:

During a debate last week over two Democratic proposals for a healthcare bill featuring a "public option" — a government-run alternative to private health insurance — [Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley] announced he opposed the idea because, as he put it, "Government is not a fair competitor.… It's a predator."

The word "predator" seems to have become something of a Republican talking point. Mr. Grassley's colleague from South Dakota, John Thune, went on the record in July to warn that, when government goes into business, it "becomes not a competitor but a predator."

Have these two august men of the right secretly become fans of Mr. Galbraith, one of our leading liberal economists?

If so, they need to go back over "The Predator State" a second time. Although
 
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