Friday, April 8, 2011

Wolf on Big Government vs. Prosperity

Dr. Milton Wolf has a new OpEd in the 4/6/2011 Washington Times, "Big government crushes American standard of living". In this piece, he takes a step back from narrower topic of health care and discusses broader issues of the proper role of government in people's lives.

Here's an excerpt:
Actually, I'm indifferent to the success or failure of... particular companies, but I champion the free market -- a meritocracy -- that allows more efficient and effective methods or companies to earn our business. That a major corporation such as Smith-Corona couldn't marshal its enormous resources to stave off what some students like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Michael Dell could create in their dorm rooms and garages is fascinating but inconsequential to society.

What's important is that the best ideas prevailed no matter whose they were while, just as importantly, less effective ideas, no matter how good they were in an earlier era, were set aside. This is the precise mechanism by which a nation's standard of living is improved.

Ironically, it's the same politicians who talk the loudest about vague notions of change who want to stop this changeover to more effective methods and companies. Admittedly, it may be temporarily difficult for workers who once built fine typewriters to change, but unless Smith-Corona lets them go, how else will Dell find enough workers to build our computers? Surely we can agree that the workers are better off in a company that makes something we want rather than something we don't.
He contrasts with the politically-driven bailouts, where the government picked winners and losers according to its criteria -- rather than the free choice of individuals acting in a marketplace. In particular, he notes:
Think about it. When was the last time someone had to be bribed to buy an iPhone or a Ford F-series pickup or a Big Mac? Good products and services follow the "Field of Dreams" rule: If you build it, they will come. Meanwhile, every bailout, stimulus, targeted tax break, subsidy and even "protective" tariff are all forms of crony corporate welfare that are attempts to bribe you with your own money to buy whatever the government busybodies think you need.
(Read the full text of "Big government crushes American standard of living".)

History has shown time-and-again the linkage between human freedom and prosperity.

Unfortunately, too many statists know all to well that their proposed regulations will harm economy and dampen our prosperity. But they don't care -- for them that's a feature, not a bug. That's a damned good reason to keep them out of office -- and prevent them from having power over the rest of us.