Obama the Corporatist

Socialism vs Corporatism

by Ron Paul

Lately many have characterized this administration as socialist, or having strong socialist leanings. I differ with this characterization. This is not to say Mr. Obama believes in free-markets by any means. On the contrary, he has done and said much that demonstrates his fundamental misunderstanding and hostility towards the truly free market. But a closer, honest examination of his policies and actions in office reveals that, much like the previous administration, he is very much a corporatist. This in many ways can be more insidious and worse than being an outright socialist.

Socialism is a system where the government directly owns and manages businesses. Corporatism is a system where businesses are nominally in private hands, but are in fact controlled by the government. In a corporatist state, government officials often act in collusion with their favored business interests to design polices that give those interests a monopoly position, to the detriment of both competitors and consumers.

A careful examination of the policies pursued by the Obama administration and his allies in Congress shows that their agenda is corporatist. For example, the health care bill that recently passed does not establish a Canadian-style government-run single payer health care system. Instead, it relies on mandates forcing every American to purchase private health insurance or pay a fine. It also includes subsidies for low-income Americans and government-run health care “exchanges”. Contrary to the claims of the proponents of the health care bill, large insurance and pharmaceutical companies were enthusiastic supporters of many provisions of this legislation because they knew in the end their bottom lines would be enriched by Obamacare.

Similarly, Obama’s “cap-and-trade” legislation provides subsidies and specials privileges to large businesses that engage in “carbon trading.” This is why large corporations, such as General Electric support cap-and-trade.

To call the President a corporatist is not to soft-pedal criticism of his administration. It is merely a more accurate description of the President’s agenda.

When he is a called a socialist, the President and his defenders can easily deflect that charge by pointing out that the historical meaning of socialism is government ownership of industry; under the President’s policies, industry remains in nominally private hands. Using the more accurate term – corporatism – forces the President to defend his policies that increase government control of private industries and expand de facto subsidies to big businesses. This also promotes the understanding that though the current system may not be pure socialism, neither is it free-market since government controls the private sector through taxes, regulations, and subsidies, and has done so for decades.

Using precise terms can prevent future statists from successfully blaming the inevitable failure of their programs on the remnants of the free market that are still allowed to exist. We must not allow the disastrous results of corporatism to be ascribed incorrectly to free market capitalism or used as a justification for more government expansion. Most importantly, we must learn what freedom really is and educate others on how infringements on our economic liberties caused our economic woes in the first place. Government is the problem; it cannot be the solution.


  • GLK

    Love how stubborn supporters of the status quo get all hung up on semantics while the Robber Baron politicians run away with all of our wealth and freedom. You’re outsmarting yourselves. Problem is your foolishness is taking others down the tubes with you. The POINT of RP’s missive is, simply, Government and Big Business are now each side of the same blade that has been plunged deep into the heart of Capitalism. As the Free Market lay dying at your feet we are robbed of easily accessible gainful employment and even our home equity. So while you ignore the point and argue over meaningless definitions you are slowly being caged. All I can say is, thanks, in the utmost sarcastic tone.

  • Sorry sir but corporatism is when corporations control the government, not vis versa. That is something most people learn in high school. Unchecked big business undermines our “liberty” that you speak of. Seriously, if your gonna run for president, get educated.

    • jake

      I believe that is exactly what he is saying. Corporations are running the government. This is made obvious by the legislation that is passed by the administration, considering that the companies that profit from these laws are the same ones contributing directly to getting them elected.

    • Andrew


    • David Jamesnovitch

      No a corporacracy is when corporations control the government. Our modern day situation is more accurately described as corporatism.

  • egc1963

    This country needs to realize that huge multi-national banks and corporations are the true enemy of the people of the United States, and the world. They finance the political campaigns of all elected officials, especially on the national level and finance lobbyists to push agendas that benefit corporate profit and protection at the expense of the people. Corporations are monsters run amok. Their sole reason for existence is turning profits for investors who do none of the work. This is at the expense of the employees, the communities that they do business in, and the surrounding environment. They will break laws and poison people with the rationale that profits will outweigh any penalties they may incur. This must stop. These are evil entities that must be reigned-in in order to end the political domination of the people of the United States by money interests. A new type of corporation needs to be formed. One where profits are shared by employees and consumers. A corporation that is responsible to the needs and preservation of the community and the environment. A corporation that accepts responsibility for its actions. Certain needs of the public can not effectively be, and should not be run by private for- profit entities., among these health care, education and certain necessary utilities. We need a true free market, we need real choices, we need to stop subsidizing certain industries, we need to do what’s best for our children and grandchildren.

  • Mark P

    Lovebug, how the heck did you get to this forum anyway? You obviously did not read Dr. Paul’s comments because your post has nothing to do with the subject whatsoever! The vast majority of working AMERICANS have working-class ethics, and have no use whatsoever for “keeping up with the Joneses, fancy cars or name brand clothes OR “fancy cultured clubs”???? Tea-Partiers are merely exercising their Constitutional Right to dissent from a government which has failed to “derive their Just powers by the consent of the governed” Thats in OUR Constitution……you should read it some time, if you live here and enjoy the benifits and “opportunities” that our country freely offers to immigrants who Lawfully become citizens of the greatest country (despite its flaws) on the face of the earth.

  • lovebug

    Blah …talk, talk thats all you are good for….work a little harder and maybe things will work out. eat a little less food , maybe your brains will function better. Complain about the foreigners . the Mexicans etc. is not going to solve your problems. The foreigners work hard for their money, they are here for opportunities, their country dont have what we have here, thats why they are here to earn a living.. not to keep up with the Jones . ..Fancy cars. name brand clothes and Fancy CULTURED CLUBS . WHILE YOU ARE ENJOYING LIFE AND COMPLAINING AT YOUR TEA PARTIES WE FOLKS ARE BUSY WORKING TO MAKE A DOLLAR. NO MATTER IF ITS 5 BUCKS AN HR. THAT GOES A LONG WAY FOR ME …..BUYS BEANS AND RICE FOR 10 PEOPLE. FOR YOU ITS A BEER. THATS THE DIFFERENCE. STUDY SOME HOME ECONOMICS. GO BACK TO SCHOOL… I DIDNT HAVE TO LEARN THIS IN HIGHSCHOOL. STOP CRYING. REGAIN SOME COMMONSENSE ON YOUR OWN….START FROM THE BOTTOM.

    • The Lower Middle Class Elite

      So lovebug, if you are so pure you’re working to build up your own culture, right? Not sneaking into the USA, living like a rat, stealing, dealing drugs, your resentment of Americans your justification, its all our fault, so your crimes are justified.

      You think Americans are like that, you watch too much TV. You should study more. Go ask the government of whatever country you came from what they are doing with the loot, so that you would have to leave to find opportunities. Then ask for your share back.

      Crybaby. Get good at picking yourself up by your own bootstraps because here in America you never know whose going to clean you out next, the crooks are running the asylum.

      Now, go watch Scarface again, ya breeder monkey.

  • Thank you for observing Dr. Paul that modern corporations and political apparatus are merely different branches of the same concealed hierarchy that is absolutely fascist in nature.

    Please also verify that the way the Supreme Court campaign contribution ruling is so vaguely worded does not serves as a vehicle to undermine US sovereignty to impose and enforce multinational monopolies and serf contracts directly analogous to socio-political elements and legal codes of medieval guilds.

    If you have any power at all, please force these SOBs to fix this inappropriate language ASAP, otherwise have the CIA induce the retirement of Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia; they already have so much experience in domestic coercion. The double dealing Monsanto shill Thomas stands out as exceptionally unfit.

    I don’t think the language they used was imprecise. I think they are intentionally setting up to use economic and immigration ‘crises’ to reduce American citizenship into a rigid caste system. If they did not intend this they will fix it, otherwise they are traitors and represent a clear and present danger to the sovereign authority of the United States, which you represent.

    “When the sheriffs break the law, then there is no law.” – Billy Jack

    • fred the protectionist

      fascists are nationalists, corporations are internationalists. dude

      “When the sheriffs break the law, then there is no law.”

      dude anarchist, when the sheriff break the law, then you prosecute the sheriff.

      • Wade Walker

        OK Fred, then go build a case against Bill Clinton and the Rose Law Firm for embezzling federal funds, cocaine smuggling and sex crimes and against George H Bush, John Poindexter and Olliver North for cocaine and heroin smuggling money laundering, illegal arms dealing and war profiteering. You might even want to try to try George H Bush for collusion with the enemy, as it appears he uses his father’s playbook. You can also start putting together a case for cocaine smuggling, money laundering, war crimes and vote tampering against W. You can also try to get Jeb for voter fraud and Neil for embezzling and money laundering.

        You see Fred, through their conspiracies they are untouchable. Its like they saw the office of president as a touchdown for immunity from prosecution. Either that or they were ordered to their actions by the secret society, crime ring, political party or whatever you want to call it, that owns them.

        • fred the protectionist

          Oh, so in your anarchist mind you think that as long as 1 person can break the law then everyone can break the law. Okey Dokey Smokey.

        • Wade Walker

          What I said, and I’m sure you are only posing as willfully ignorant because you are just venting your angst, was that when you can’t prosecute the sheriff according to the rule of law, the rule of law has no meaning and we are on our own.

          Then I gave you a few examples.

          Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends? While you bicker with me the wealth of a nation is running away.

        • fred the protectionist

          Like I said, in your anarchist mind you think that as long as 1 person can break the law then everyone can break the law.

  • Obama is a pawn of the same “corporate” wealthy elites who are systematically using their influence $$$ to protect and increase their surplus wealth, reversing the liberties asserted by the nation’s founders. Never mind the newspeak terminology, this is old school feudal economic tactics, kids.

    So no mouthpiece the corporations will allow to run for president will be any different until these dangerous, reckless and stupid megalomaniacs are cut off from the levers of power.

    The only lawful way we can stop this is to go on strike, and we must act soon before the new knights, the paramilitary police, are so invested in the police state that they will protect their own material interests against the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

    I suggest stop paying all credit cards, loan payments and mortgages to get their attention. If they agree to negotiate fine, just don’t let a turncoat traitor throw us on the swords. If they refuse to negotiate, then I recommend we refuse to work, stop the motor of the world. Both of these actions will invoke support from their foreign allies, who will face financial injury.

    The alternative is to continue to be an economic slave. Ever get the feeling you’re being cheated? Baa Baa sheople!

    • I notice that if I don’t work I don’t pay much taxes. I don’t really mind Obama issuing executive orders to use public funds to build up “historically black colleges”, but I notice the public colleges are taking it in the shorts really hard right now. I do mind him proposing giving money to the corrupt, self serving criminals running Mexico “to promote their economy” and discourage illegal aliens. I can even see why he can’t tell their politicians apart from their gangsters. But this isn’t going to work; their problem is they are soft invading the USA. It also doesn’t do anything about our #2 illegal population, the Chinese, or all the other countries.
      Stop throwing money at things, its not working!!

      The one thing I learned from W is that we can’t even force this way of life on a sovereign nation facing the alternative of utter annihilation. I know 2 countries isn’t enough to form much of a statistical sample, but if you consider Nicaragua & Viet Nam, I’m seeing a pattern emerge: perpetual war for perpetual loot taking.

      Haiti: 3billion before the quake and no ROI. Waste your own money!