It seems that the Republicans have forgotten how to be Republicans. They might want to hold a mass séance with their patron saint, Ronald Reagan, who could remind them of some of the GOP’s cardinal rules—limited scope of government, the goodness of the free market, etc. The front runners among the Republican hopefuls for 2012 seem to have lost their way.
As Rick Perry hits the campaign trail, he has touted his Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) and the jobs created by start-up companies the fund has invested in. The ETF is essentially a venture capital fund operated by the State of Texas that invests in fledgling
based technology companies. The ETF has drawn a bit of fire recently from critics for a lack of proper accounting around the fund. Evidently, details on the performance of the companies the fund has invested in, the valuation of those companies, the number of jobs created, etc. have not been reported for public consumption in the 6 year history of the fund. Critics argue that a periodic audit of the fund and performance of the fund’s companies is required given the ETF’s use of public money. Texas
I’ve got a better question. Why does the State of Texas have a venture capital fund financed with public money in the first place? Maybe an even better question: Does Rick Perry, a Republican, not understand one of the basic tenets of his own party? I think Mr. Perry might struggle with the essay question ‘In 500 words or less, discuss the concept of limited government and the practical implications thereof.’ Oh well, he’s got good hair.
While Rick Perry touts his ETF, Michele Bachmann has promised, if elected, she’ll make sure American’s will pay $2 for a gallon gas. Now here’s someone who's publicly demonstrated their utter lack of understanding of how the free markets work. When pressed, Ms Bachmann has said she’d open up what are currently restricted public lands for oil and gas exploration. Experts differ on just how much oil and gas are trapped in public lands currently ‘off-limits’. The consensus seems to be that we have a lot of oil and gas, so opening up more public lands for production would be net-net a positive for the consumer. But for a candidate to set a very specific future price for a gallon of gas where that price is governed by so many international variables is either terribly naïve or terribly ignorant to basic economics. My guess is that Ms. Bachmann understands these forces better than her $2 per gallon promise would indicate, she's just telling us what she thinks we want to hear. Unfortunately, there's a lot of that going on these days.
As mentioned in prior postings, the Unrepentant Capitalist is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. Having said that, I expect the party that historically touts limited scope of government, the free market, and capitalism to have candidates that really understand and can articulate what those things mean.