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Monday, October 19, 2009

Excellent Article Related To Economic Liberty

Dealing With A Robin Hood Government


Dr. Walter Williams, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, wrote an excellent piece for Hillsdale College's Imprimis monthly publication.

Click here for the article: Future Prospects for Economic Liberty

Here are some highlights from the article:

So while I am not saying that we should pay no taxes, I am saying that they should be much lower—as they would be, if the government abided by the Constitution and allowed the free market system to flourish.
What a great statement. It amazes me how many people that I talk to about taxes who will complain about how much we are forced to pay. When I start mentioning things the government funds, that it really has no business funding, these same people will then give justifications as to why the government should be funding those things. Sorry people, you can't have it both ways. You can't have the government babysit you, provide a safety net for every aspect of life, and still have low taxes. Speaking of which:
Ironically, the free market system is threatened today not because of its failure, but because of its success. Capitalism has done so well in eliminating the traditional problems of mankind—disease, pestilence, gross hunger, and poverty—that other human problems seem to us unacceptable.
Here is the crux of the issue I just mentioned. Americans think that we should be able to live completely stress free, with no worries. The result is they are willing to let government act to try to prevent every potential pitfall that we face as humans. Something the government is incapable of doing.

So what do I mean by a Robin Hood government? Dr. Williams explains:
Again, the primary justification for increasing the size and scale of government at the expense of liberty is that government can achieve what it perceives as good. But government has no resources of its own with which to do so. Congressmen and senators don't reach into their own pockets to pay for a government program. They reach into yours and mine. Absent Santa Claus or the tooth fairy, the only way government can give one American a dollar in the name of this or that good thing is by taking it from some other American by force. If a private person did the same thing, no matter how admirable the motive, he would be arrested and tried as a thief. That is why I like to call what Congress does, more often than not, "legal theft." The question we have to ask ourselves is whether there is a moral basis for forcibly taking the rightful property of one person and giving it to another to whom it does not belong. I cannot think of one. Charity is noble and good when it involves reaching into your own pocket. But reaching into someone else's pocket is wrong.
Very well said! There is no morality in stealing. Even if the motive is noble. My daughter quoted Robin Hood a few weeks ago. She is 6 and she said something about stealing from the rich to give to the poor. I explained to her that stealing is wrong, period. And that there is nothing that justifies it, even giving the spoils to the poor. That is a lesson more of our nation's youth needs to hear.

But isn't big business the enemy of the common people? No it isn't, as Dr. Williams continues:
Another common argument is that we need big government to protect the little guy from corporate giants. But a corporation can't pick a consumer's pocket. The consumer must voluntarily pay money for the corporation's product. It is big government, not corporations, that have the power to take our money by force. ... It is big government that the little guy needs protection against, not big business. And the only protection available is in the Constitution and the ballot box.
Ah, now we are getting to the root of the problem. As Ronald Reagan said: "Government is not the solution, government is the problem." The mainstream media has hammered on big business for so long that our society at large has aligned them mentally with Satan. However, big government is a much bigger threat to our liberty than big business ever was.

The problem is that our politicians get hedged in by special interests:
This reminds me of a lunch I had a number of years ago with my friend Jesse Helms, the late Senator from North Carolina. He knew that I was critical of farm subsidies, and he said he agreed with me 100 percent. But he wondered how a Senator from North Carolina could possibly vote against them. If he did so, his fellow North Carolinians would dump him and elect somebody worse in his place.
As Dr. Williams goes on, even principled politicians find themselves in the position of voting for big government initiatives that they know are not in the nation's best interest. Think about that in relation to the current big government proposal for health care reform and you quickly realize how precarious our economic liberty has become.

Dr. Williams makes some excellent points in this article. If we are to restore our economic liberty in this nation we need to get rid of big government. That is a daunting task, but one that is crucial to our remaining the greatest nation on God's green earth.

1 comment:

Writer X said...

I've only recently begun to receive Imprimis. Great publication. Dr. Williams is always interesting to read and listen to on the radio.