June 1, 2009

More Must Reading: The Failure of Economic Interventionism

The following essay, written in 1994, speaks quite emphatically about the failures of socialism, and the dangers of creeping socialism. A great read for some historical perspective on why the government solution is usually NOT the way to go.

Ironically, it's hosted on the Congressional Website. Perhaps there's a few conservatives, Republicans and libertarians left in the nation's capitol. Or, it's just another great example of why government oversight can't get done what it wants to get done. I don't know which explanation is more enjoyable to consider.

Below is an excerpt from the essay;

It is certainly not a merit of governments, politicians and labor union officers that the standard of living is improving in the countries committed to the principle of private ownership of the means of production. Not offices and bureaucrats, but big business deserves credit for the fact that most of the families in the United States own a motorcar and a radio set. The increase in per capita consumption in America as compared with conditions a quarter of a century ago is not an achievement of laws and executive orders. It is an accomplishment of businessmen who enlarged the size
of their factories or build new ones.

One must stress this point because our contemporaries are inclined to ignore it. Entangled in the superstitions of stateism and government omnipotence, they are exclusively preoccupied with governmental measures. They expect everything from authoritarian action and very little from the initiative of enterprising citizens. Yet, the only means to increase well-being is to increase the quantity of products. This is what business aims at.

It is grotesque that there is much more talk about the achievements of the Tennessee Valley Authority than about all the unprecedented and unparalleled achievements of American privately-operated processing industries. However, it was only the latter which enabled the United Nations to win the war.

The dogma that the State or the Government is the embodiment of all that is good and beneficial and that the individuals are wretched underlings, exclusively intent upon inflicting harm upon one another and badly in need of a guardian, is almost unchallenged. It is taboo to question it in the slightest way. He who proclaims the godliness of the State and the infallibility of its priests, the bureaucrats, is considered as an impartial student of the social sciences. All those raising objections are branded as biased and narrow-minded. The supporters of the new religion of statolarty are
even more fanatical and intolerant than were the Mohammedan conquerors of Africa
and Spain.

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