RE: comparison of underground economies (was Commie Nonsense)

From: altamira (
Date: Sun Jun 18 2000 - 20:45:31 MDT

I don't mean to say that the eocnomy of the U.S. is like Mussolini's Italian
economy, only that it shares certain characteristics. I can see now that it
was not a useful comparison, and I'll probably never use it again.

 The element that the U.S. economy has in common with the Italian economy
under Mussolini is this: legal title to capital assets is (in many cases,
though not in all cases) held by private individuals rather than by a
government. Sometimes such individual ownership is indirect, such as where
a parent corporation owns subsidiary corporations--but if you trace
ownership all the way back through the parent corp. you find that the owner
is an individual person rather than a government. However, even though
legal title to capital assets is directly or indirectly held by an
individual, one branch or another of the government actually controls many
of the functions of the corporation.

I gave an example in an earlier post of a manufacturer of fasteners used in
the construction of nuclear power plants--let me elaborate a bit: title to
the business is held by, say, five shareholders. One or more of them might
manage the business, or they might hire someone else to do it. The person
who manages the business must follow federal guidelines for how the
machinery is set up, what sort of contracts the corp. can enter into with
employees, what sort of restroom the building must have, what sort of
entryway the building must have, how quality control of the product must be
done, how and for what causes employees can be fired, how to determine which
employees to hire, how much to pay low-skilled employees, how to structure
fringe benefits for employees, where raw materials can be obtained, and I
feel certain there are more that I've left out. This is NOT what I would
call a free-market economy, which is why I said it seemed to be a mixture of
capitalism and fascism.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of
> Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2000 8:57 PM
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: comparison of underground economies (was Commie Nonsense)
> In a message dated 6/18/00 6:31:35 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:<< You could say it's a mixture of feudal
> mercantilism and capitalism, as the U.S. economy is a mixture of
> capitalism
> and socialism and fascism. None of these terms seems to have a
> very precise
> meaning. In both of these countries there's an active
> "underground" economy.
> >>
> Bonnie,
> Having read most of Fredrick Von Hayek's book THE ROAD TO SERFDOM I
> believe there is a fairly accurate definition of Fascism.
> As I recall Mussolini was a communist party worker in Italy
> at the time
> the Italian veterans came home. He wanted the communist party to
> represent
> the views of these veterans as he felt there would be a political
> advantage
> to doing so. He was turned down by the communist party but felt
> very deeply
> he was right. He renamed himself a fascist and proceeded to gain
> political
> power. So far as I know Mussolini changed his label, changed
> some details of
> his program but never changed his core beliefs from communism.
> With this mind I have to ask; in what way does the economy of
> the U. S.
> follow the tenents of Fascism?
> Ron H.

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