Stossel: The Economy Needs No Conductor

Striker 2012/04/20 19:25:34

We spend too much time waiting for orders -- and money -- from Washington.

The collapse of the housing bubble gave politicians a license to do
what they wanted to do all along: spend. The usual checks on
extravagance, weak as they are, were washed away. Budgets? We'll worry
about that later. Inflation? We'll worry about that later.

As I point out in my brand new book, "No, We Can't: Why Government
Fails -- and Individuals Succeed," a true free market doesn't require
much. It's not like an orchestra in need of a conductor. What it needs
is property rights, so no one can take your stuff. Then people trade
property to their mutual advantage. Resources move around without the
need for a central, coercive government telling people which resources
should go where -- or telling them that they must get permission to do
what they think is advantageous.

Given time, an economy, unless crippled by further government
intervention, will regenerate itself. But during the recession,
Keynesians in the administration said government had to "jump-start" the
economy because businesses weren't hiring. An economy, however, is not a
machine that needs jump-starting. It is people who have objectives they
want to achieve.

If the economy continues to recover, President Obama will claim he
caused that. It wouldn't be the first time a "leader" ran in front of a
crowd and claimed to have led the way. But politicians don't deserve
credit for what free people do.

Despite politicians' talk of "giving" money to this or that (remember
those tax rebate checks with President George W. Bush's name emblazoned
on them?), government has no money of its own. It has to take it from
the private sector. Grabbing those scarce resources stifles the real

One of the most important questions in politics should be: "Would the private sector have done better things with that money?"

A healthy economy does not just create jobs of any kind, it creates productive
jobs. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt created plenty of jobs building
pyramids, but who knows how much better the lives of ancient Egyptians
(especially the slaves) might have been had they been free to engage in
other work? They would all have had better housing, more food or
snazzier headdresses. Even as smart a person as economist John Maynard
Keynes seemed to forget about that when he wrote in his "General Theory"
back in 1936, "Pyramid-building, earthquakes, even wars may serve to
increase wealth."

By that logic, government could create full employment tomorrow by
outlawing machines. Think of all the work there'd be to do then!

DANG, he's good!

Read More: http://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2012/04...

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  • Steve J~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/23 18:32:38
    Steve J~PWCM~JLA
    Common sense does not exist in the overly corrupt Washington DC. It is all about being in power and enslaving the US citizen.
  • klausd11 2012/04/22 03:49:55
    John Stossel - my hero!
  • Bozette 2012/04/21 20:21:26
    I really wonder how much longer he'll last at Fox...can't have reporters telling the truth (Gasp!). The only people who seem to really understand how a free market works these days are those who barter/trade under the table. The government has so perverted the meaning of the commerce clause that it is unrecognizable from the FFs original intent...and the SC has upheld the perversions since at least 1942.
  • Charles R. Anderson 2012/04/21 02:24:29
    Charles R. Anderson
    The Invisible Hand of Adam Smith, which was well-known to the Framers of the Constitution.
  • Charles... Charles... 2012/04/21 02:28:48
    Charles R. Anderson
    That Constitution mandated a highly limited government that would not interfere with the right of the individual to freely cooperate with others in the private sector in the pursuit of their personally chosen values. Back then, the little bit of government power to regulate interstate commerce was to be used for the purpose of keeping the states from limiting trade and commerce of the people in different states. Now the Interstate Commerce Clause is so broadly interpreted that it is used almost entirely to inhibit commercial trade not just between states, but within each state.
  • Striker Charles... 2012/04/21 02:31:30
    I so appreciate both your knowledge and your knack for applying it intelligenty.
  • Ken 2012/04/21 02:12:16
    Stossel Power.
  • WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/20 23:50:41
    WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA
    I love Stossel.
  • Torchmanner ~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/20 23:00:30
    Torchmanner ~PWCM~JLA
    obaaaama is INTENTIONALLY hurting the economy because he is a marxist and an anti-colonialist.
  • The Gipper~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/20 22:31:35
    The Gipper~PWCM~JLA
    What the economy needs is no obama!
  • Striker The Gip... 2012/04/20 22:34:27 (edited)
    And no romney. whatta pickle this might be! How about Paul and/or Napolitano and/or Stossel and/or Johnson?
  • The Gip... Striker 2012/04/20 22:36:40
    The Gipper~PWCM~JLA
    Agreed, but I'd still rather have the government headed up by a business man than a "law professor/community organizer"!
  • Striker The Gip... 2012/04/20 22:39:46
    Better still, let's just do without a president for the next round?
  • The Gip... Striker 2012/04/20 23:02:03
    The Gipper~PWCM~JLA
    I agree with you on the no "leaders" idea in theory. But, human nature being what it is, I think it would be very difficult for any organization or group of individuals with enough power to get us to the point where being "leaderless" was possible to cede all that power and just fade into the background. People, as a whole, seem to need leaders, but we need them to be answerable to us! We have gotten very far away from them having to be accountable in the last few decades and we have nobody to blame for that but ourselves!
  • Striker The Gip... 2012/04/20 23:15:57 (edited)
    Leaders are one thing -- Rulers are quite another. These Rulers over the past many years have brought Amerika to the point of collapse, and then they'll ALL be out of a job.
    There's darned little left which we the People can do anything about.

    p.s. I don't accept guilt trips. I've pretty much done my part.
  • The Gip... Striker 2012/04/21 02:28:25
    The Gipper~PWCM~JLA
    I'm with you on the rulers part also! I hope their all out of a job tomorrow!
    We'd be much better off without career politicians!
    BTW, who said you were guilty of anything? I was blaming society as a whole for what we've gotten ourselves into.
    Human nature rears it's ugly head once again?
  • TuringsChild 2012/04/20 19:30:48
    Free Markets work every time they're tried. Unfortunately we haven't tried that in a LONG time. Prolly a hundred years.
  • Striker Turings... 2012/04/20 19:33:44
    Right, we're frustrated at every turn. Rulers DO that stuff!

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