Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Challenge

"Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die"

It's bi-partisan, it's timely, important and the right thing to do. It's time for all right thinking people to rally around the cause of economic freedom.

Both the government currently in power and the government in waiting seem inclined to introduce distortions and interventions into the national economy. None of the proposed moves will aid recovery nor encourage growth, rather they seem calculated to benefit cronies and backers at the expense of the general public.

Free trade and deregulation are rarely brought forward as noble goals, but they are. Where deregulation has failed most dramatically is where the regulations remaining where hidden from public scrutiny (For an especially egregious example, look at the government requirements for lenders in regards to credit worthiness on home loans over the past ten years or so).

I'm not saying that the market is always right. But it usually is, and any distortions that arise are usually corrected fairly swiftly. I am saying that government intervention is almost always wrong, always expensive and always redounds to the benefit of a privileged minority at the expense of the general public.

As the memories of the seventies fade, a new generation of innocents have arisen who seem all too willing to be fleeced by the con men and snake oil salemen that cluster around politicians. I just hope that the lesson soon to be learned isn't too expensive for the rest of us.


Perpetua said...

Hi Matthew, I agree with you in general that more free trade and less regulation is best, there is a place for regulation. Just look at what happened with Enron.

Matthew said...

Hi. I'm no libertarian. Government definitely has a place in the economy. It performs an essential job in providing the rules and structure of the market (laws and their enforcement). Even in regulation, I think the government role can be crucial. The US government defines categories of food, for example, by regulation. Because of that pie makers can buy cherries sight simply by their category.

The problem is when government moves in to automobile manufacturing, as happened in Britain in the seventies and as may happen in our near future.