When people respond to the claim that Obama is not friendly to “business” they normally start with something like… ‘How can you say that? He (Obama) bailed out the banks, the auto makers and the insurance companies!’ If you claim he is anti-small business, they will point to one of the dozens of tax credits he has given to small businesses. When you say his health-care “reform” is socialist, they will respond (correctly) that he has not socialized it at all – but has given the insurance companies millions of new customers. These answers miss the point, but that is because the question has not been posed correctly.
There are really two kinds of “capitalism.” One of these is a laissez-faire capitalism, and one is “crony capitalism.” As well, one of these leads to prosperity and plenty – the other to misery and woe. One to freedom… one to serfdom. Our country has been drifting further and further toward crony capitalism for the last 100+ years, Obama has just been initializing the final steps.
Lets start with laissez-faire – From answers.com:
Policy dictating a minimum of governmental interference in the economic affairs of individuals and society. It was promoted by the physiocrats and strongly supported by Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. Widely accepted in the 19th century, laissez-faire assumed that the individual who pursues his own desires contributes most successfully to society as a whole. The function of the state is to maintain order and avoid interfering with individual initiative.
This system of economics is what I am referring to as the “free market” This system was the driving force behind America’s surge from a small collection of colonies at the beginning of the 19th century, to the economic powerhouse of the world at the beginning of the 20th. This system fulfills Jefferson’s edict:
“A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.”
This system is also the only system where property rights are truly respected, thus the only one where liberty can abound. Just a short aside on that last point, if I only live a certain number of days, and those days belong to me, then I give some of my days in exchange for property (so that I may sustain my life), then taking that property is almost as if taking my life (or those days that I spent to acquire that property).