Wall Street veteran and Alpha Investor Editor Charles Mizrahi talked to MRC Business about his frustrations with the media’s leftist agenda using the coronavirus to attack American capitalism.
Talking heads like Financial Times Editor Roula Khalaf had argued that “capitalism needs a reset.” The socialist-lovingFT Editorial Board had said that “Governments will have to accept a more active role in the economy.” Mizrahi, an observant Jew, wasn’t buying any of it. He argued based on a powerful op-ed he wrote for RealClearReligion headlined “Prosperity and Generosity: The Biblical Roots of Capitalism.” His main point is that the media is “just plain wrong. They’re using a hammer when they should be using a screwdriver. The government is not for that.” https://c8436c1a6812fe7bbdc8841adad66a00.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Mizrahi laid out his case why American capitalism is the most moral of any approach to deal with the economic recovery. Mizrahi’s question to the media: “Where do we have a better system? Could you point me in the direction of a better system than our capitalist system built on Judeo-Christian values?”
Mizrahi: Why do people get on rafts, climb walls, dig tunnels, struggle through mountain ranges and deserts in order to come to our country? Because it’s a socialist country? Because we’re giving everyone three hot meals and a bed? Absolutely not! They’re coming here because America is the land of opportunity, as it has been for the past 200-plus years. Every wave of immigration that came into this country came because of religious persecution or economic persecution. They came to make better lives for themselves.
The Wall Street icon used his family’s own immigration history from the Soviet Union to underscore why people come to America in the first place. According to Mizrahi, “My grandparents didn’t board a ship and sail across the Atlantic in steerage in the bottom of a ship in 1922 because America was a socialist state. They were fleeing communism. They were getting out of the Soviet Union. They came to this country not expecting anything, just opportunity. And that’s what they were given.”
Mizrahi asked. “If you came from Mars and had no bias, and you would just look, just look at the top GDPs in the world, we’re number one. Why is that? Is it because our government is so benevolent to every person? No.” Mizrahi said one of the reasons the U.S. is number one is because “government intervention is kept to a minimum.”
Mizrahi took aim at the Financial Times for promoting socialist policies.
Mizrahi: You say that government will have to accept a more active role in the economy. Where exactly? Isn’t that what communism is all about? They tried to do that, and it failed. The government tried to run an economy, and in 1989 the wall was torn down, and Russia is no longer communist. Where does that work?
Mizrahi also took on New York Times leftist economist Paul Krugman, lambasting him for his July 27, article headlined “The Cult of Selfishness is Killing America.” Krugman had written that Republicans are against extending unemployment benefits because it would be an “admission that lucky Americans should help their less-fortunate fellow citizens.”
Mizrahi said that Krugman was “misguided.” He stated, “His conclusion that he first draws here” is “just plain silly.” Mizrahi’s view was that continuing to extend unemployment benefits and aid will only disincentivize work.
He then tied everything back to a Biblical case for capitalism:
Mizrahi: The Bible totally understood that there will always be an underbelly of society. There will always be a segment of society in chapter 15 of Deuteronomy, verse 11: ‘There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be open-handed towards your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.’
Mizrahi said that “with wealth comes responsibility” in helping the poor. But, for Mizrahi, “this wasn’t a perpetual state of poverty that you were supposed to keep them in [the poor].” The Jewish perspective stipulates that “the highest form of charity one can do is put someone into a business or make them a partner in a business, because then they become self-sufficient.”
He then related this back to America, “the only Judeo-Christian country in the world.” Mizrahi concluded: “Why is it that the United States, the Americans, the American people are the most charitable people on the face of the earth? Total charitable giving in this country is $410 billion dollars, and that was in 2017. That’s 2 percent of our GDP. But here’s the kicker: individuals gave 70 percent of that — individuals!”
Mizrahi then challenged the media and Krugman: “You’re saying the American people are not a generous people? Well, the facts show differently.”