Away from economic fascism, argues historian Robert Higgs in this post at The Beacon. Specifically, Obama’s latest Executive Order gives the president (himself or any successor) almost unlimited powers. Higgs writes, “private control of economic life in the US, to the extent that it survives, exists solely at the president’s pleasure. Whenever he chooses to put into effect a full-fledged operational fascist economy controlled from his office, he has the statutory power to do so; all he has to do is murmur the words ‘national defense ‘and give the orders.”
The left has turned that word into an all-purpose epithet to describe anyone who opposes their ideas. (For example, labor unions often refer to employers who don’t cave in to their demands “fascist.”) But the word has a precise meaning: economic planning dictated by government regulation. That is how Hitler and Mussolini made the economies of Germany and Italy comply with their wishes. And to an increasing degree, we have economic fascism in the US, as businesses must abide by a constantly expanding set of government mandates and prohibition.
We’re supposed to think that this fascist control is benign because it’s run by democratically elected politicians, not evil dictators. It’s still harmful. Government control wastes resources and distorts incentives. Society becomes poorer, even as the well-connected few line their pockets.