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Some New York Times' Thoughts for the Day Concerning Capitalism

May 15, 2007
From an article on urban development in India:
In an experiment that is highly unusual for this most unplanned of countries, the government is doling out money to Nagpur and other "second tier” cities to help them modernize—fast.… Since its independence from Britain in 1947, the city-building philosophy of India has been, to put it gently, laissez-faire.— "‘Second Tier' City to Rise Fast Under India's Urban Plan.” (The article appears on p. 3 of the May 13, Metropolitan Edition.)
The article's use of the words "most unplanned of countries” in reference to India is astonishing. India is a country that for decades was perhaps the most controlled and regulated country in the world outside the Communist bloc and was in the forefront of state "economic planning.” Yet the article ignores all this and sees laissez-faire, not government interference, as being India's problem. From an article on land fraud in Utah:
"Excellent investment property in high-growth area,” reads an eBay advertisement for the sale of 40 acres in a remote part of rural Box Elder County. Good roads (unencumbered by pavement), close to casinos (if 80 miles is close), and, the ad says, "Only one mile away from Lucin Town.” Ah, the lure of Lucin Town. To reach Lucin from the pleasant county seat, Brigham City, you must drive nearly 150 miles, around the top of the Great Salt Lake and then southwest, along a two-lane road curling past tumbleweeds and the very occasional ranch. After a long while you turn left onto a dirt road, travel six bumpy miles — and there you are, smack in the middle of spectacular nothingness: Lucin. Lucin is not even a ghost town; it is a ghost junction, where lonely dirt road crosses lonely railroad track, and the most prominent inhabitants are a snake, a beetle and some large ants. Step on the parched earth to examine that toppled Lucin sign, and dust kicks up.
These paragraphs, and the rest of the article in which they appear, describe blatant fraud in the sale of land in rural Utah. Fraud, of course, has nothing to do with capitalism. It is against the law in a capitalist society. Nevertheless, the article is titled "Where Little Grows, Capitalism Takes Root.” (It appears on page 18 of the May 13, Metropolitan Edition). What the title clearly implies is that such fraud is part of capitalism. The wider theme uniting both articles is that capitalism is chaos, an "anarchy of production” in the words of Marx, whose doctrines still live in the pages of The New York Times. Capitalism—laissez-faire—is allegedly chaos in urban development. That's claimed in the first article. Capitalism is allegedly the chaos of fraud in land sales. That's the title of the second article. Once again, the content of the paper's news columns give the lie to its claim that appears everyday on page 2, that its "news and editorial departments do not coordinate coverage.” They do, perhaps not by conscious design, but by shared philosophy and Marxist economic theory. Almost all of the writers, reporters, and editors of the paper come from the same educational mold and see practically everything through a far-left prism, with the result that The Times' reporting is thoroughly slanted to the left. It is not a vehicle for the impartial reporting of the news, but a vehicle for leftist propaganda. Copyright © 2007 by George Reisman.

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