Jeb Bush stands by the free market
December 19th, 2011
09:55 AM ET
6 years ago

Jeb Bush stands by the free market

(CNN) – Jeb Bush took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to chart a course toward economic growth through the free market instead of government regulation.

In the op-ed published Monday, Bush said the country is at a cross roads where it must choose between rules passed in Washington, D.C. that ensure stagnant growth or the free market that though unpredictable, will lead to an increase in growth.

"Unless we are willing to explore the jagged line of freedom, we will be stuck in a straight line," the former Florida governor wrote. "And the straight line, it turns out, is a flat line."

Bush, the second son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush, has repeatedly said he is not considering a bid for the White House despite high profile urgings.

In Monday's piece, Bush drew on his eight years as governor of the Sunshine State to warn elected officials about the downside of increased guidelines. He said elected officials are hindering economic freedoms through laws while responding to calls to "do something … anything."

"Mayors, country chairs, governors and presidents never think their laws will harm the free market," Bush wrote. "But cumulatively, they do, and we have no imperiled the right to rise."

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Filed under: Economy • Jeb Bush
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Jeb stands for handouts to the rich.

    December 19, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Max


    Bush said NOTHING new or interesting here. All is doing is suggesting that we return to the 'MARKET CRASH of 2008 instigated by his brother...George W. Bush. No wonder he doesn't run for president. This approch would get him no where, not when he has NOTHING to say.

    December 19, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Sandy

    Of course he does. (roll eyes)

    December 19, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Davidk

    Free market????????? These statements coming from a Bush? The family that invaded the Middle East to steal the regions oil rather than buy it out on the free market????????? He must have dis-associated himself from the family.

    December 19, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Donkey Party

    The "flat line" has been here for 30 years. It represents the middle-class income growth thanks to "free market" principles and deregulation. The Republican model for growth only benefits the wealthy, and that is a statistically proven fact.

    December 19, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. RLA

    What free market??? Every company available is in DC with lobbiests trying to get my money through tax breaks and gain some advantage. Really!!! Try the real free market for change!

    December 19, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. lynn

    Hey Jeb, it worked out for your brother, he let big business do whatever they pleased and look where it got us. If you let a kid grow up with no rules, the sky's the limit. Do whatever - whenever they please - be damned consequences.

    December 19, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. NCWriter

    I think he said it a bit awkwardly, but the basic idea is right. We cannot be given prosperity by washington. The only hope for it is to for Washington to let go of the notion that they can control the economy and let The People do it. Whether you call us the 53%, the 99% or the other 99%, it is the people making new businesses and deciding for themselves that they CAN raise their lot in life that makes our economy grow.

    December 19, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. Donkey Party

    And why are we listening to a Bush??? Haven't they destroyed the nation enough already?

    December 19, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Republicans and conservatives always try to paint Democrats and liberals as being "anti-business", "anti-capitalism", and against free markets, in general. Then Republicans will blink their eyes, and tell you in their next breath that Democrats are "in the pockets" of big money donors on Wall Street. It's absurd the assertions that they continue to make and the number of people who fail to connect the dots and see the bigger picture.

    Republicans represent the special interests who want deregulation of everything. Republicans want an unregulated "free for all" economy. They want to turn our economy into a jungle where it is survival of the fittest and every man for himself. I think an economy is incapable of surviving in such a chaotic environment because of a little thing called greed. The ongoing financial crisis came about as a result of one battle for survival in a deregualted economy.

    December 19, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Publius Novus

    We may all pray that the good Lord saves us from a third Bush. This looks suspiciously like the opening gambit for the 2016 Republican primaries. Should Jebby fail to interest the Tea Pary, which will be the new name of the GOP by 2016, the Bush Family will be able to contribute Neil, Marvin, and Doro. Oooops! Doro is married to a (gasp!) Democrat! I guess that leave just Neil and Marvin for the dynasty.

    December 19, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    What Jeb conveniently neglects to say is that the government, while in many cases limiting the rate of growth, also prevents the economy from going into total collapse. If Jeb had had his way, the auto industry would have lost millions more jobs than it already has. Government regulation of the economy has ensured stability, which in turn ensures we have a stable society.

    December 19, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Annie, Atlanta

    I stand by the free market, too, as a liberal. But we don't have a free market when corporations and banks privatize their winnings and have the taxpayers pick up the tab for their losses (i.e. socialism). That isn't a free market, yet that's how we operate these days. Why won't the media tell us the truth regarding our "free market?" It's because it could hurt their bottom line, isn't it?

    December 19, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Hangar13

    Interesting that most of the commenters here are not in favor of a free market economy. I would suggest they all take the next flight to Cuba or North Korea so they can live out their days in their dream Utopia. (hint: don't post any more opinions after you get there, your remaining days will be very short if you do)

    December 19, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. blee

    I love how the Republicans talk about free market when they want deregulation but don't bat an eye at giving the free market a shove out the door when it comes to bailing out US companies and providing subsidies to others.

    December 19, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. diridi

    Dynasty in America? Shame...o.k,

    December 19, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. Sniffit

    Speaking of myths...

    December 19, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. GI Joe

    ................ because it worked so well for W?.................................

    NO – we've seen what happens with total deregulation. The wealthy profit – the not so wealthy get poorer.

    Maybe it's N. Korea part II and instead of Kim and Kim Jr., it's the Bushes. NO

    December 19, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |

    This guy acts like the American people both lib, & consv. don't believe in the free market.......Give me a break with trying to claim that capitalism is promoted by 1 party and not the other......

    December 19, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Hangar13, oligarhies, like those favored by the GOP are NOT free market capitalism. When "The Wealth of Nations" was written, Britain, the Netherlands, and other countries highly regulated their trade so the nation could benefit. The US practiced high tariffs for generations in order to protect American industry, which now goes against the " free market" principles this country now pretends to practice. What Bush is proposing is something that would damage our economy by injecting a constant stream of uncertainty into economic and business strategies. You need government participation to ensure stability, period. You can argue the degree to which it should be involved, but to argue in favor of a complete abdication of that responsibility only serves the needs of a few, and ignores the overall impact of such a policy. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive at best, and dangerous at any other time.

    December 19, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. sonny chapman

    JEB is right. We should just trust the benevolent nature of the Invisible Hand of the Free Market to treat all fairly. Those that get squashed, well that's just Natural Selection & they're just statistics, not real flesh & blood creatures like the unborn that the Conservative Christian "Pro-Lifers" are concerned about.

    December 19, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Keith in Austin

    When will Liberals understand that a free market society does not support Obama's true ideological ambition? Over-regulation, abusive Corporate taxes, caste society, Big Government control of our lives, creation of Class Warfare for VOTES by demonizing the "Evil Wealthy" who already pay the majority of Federal taxes, Promising the 49 percent paying NOTHING that they deserve more entitlements, Spending like there is no tomorrow, Attacking anyone with opposing views and on and on! Look at where we are today and ask yourself the simple question; Are you better off now than when The Great Divider in Chief took office with complete Liberal Democrat control of the Senate and House? The situation we find ourselves in today is Obama's creation and why his legacy will remain as the worst President in U.S. History!

    December 19, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    The country has no way out of the mess it has been placed in, by the rise of China, and the desertion of America by Corporate America.

    Unless penalties are placed on companies who send their manufacturing to China, America will continue to decline, within the middle class, Making the country nothing but a monarchy of the wealthy over the common man, by BOTH political parties. The Democrats are actually trying to put such a dictatorship in place, at this time.

    December 19, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Wes Monroe

    Jeb if Obama takes over the White House for another 4 years you will have your hands full cleaning up the mess left behind when your elected in 2016. My guess is you won't Blame Obama for the last 8 years.

    December 19, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. Scott O' Canada

    Makes sense if you don't think about it.

    December 19, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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