There is going to be an economic series of posts here with Japan going to negative interest, Marvin Minsky dying, Sanders running, and me running into things I thought I had posted on -- but hadn't. I read WAY more than I write (and that is a GOOD thing), but sometimes I forget what is only in my head rather than having found it's way to text. To wit, the linked article is on Milton Friedman, written before the 2012 election, but unfortunately even more appropriate today <go see if I have posted on Negative Interest yet>:
When he was told by government officials that it was better to dig ditches with shovels than bulldozers, because more jobs were created that way, Friedman asked, “Why not use spoons?” In no corner of the Earth, from alabaster Washington to the filthiest dungeon state, have central planners ever been able to answer that question. If Friedman had lived long enough to hear Barack Obama blame high unemployment on automated teller machines, he would have recognized a student in dire need of his teachings.
As the rest of us watch the edifice of statist economics crumble, and prepare to rescue our nation from its tumbling wreckage, we could do worse than “Why not use spoons?” as our battle cry.They can't answer because Milton is talking about reality and Socialism is a fantasy. It can only "answer" by silencing it's critics, which it has done many times, and we increasingly see yet again in this country in ever more cases.
Friedman is among the finest teachers for learning that everything government does is a form of compulsion. The acolytes of Big Government are always desperate to claim otherwise – they just want togive you stuff! They want to secure your “rights” to “access” goods and services they have deemed vital. They’re just looking to collect a “fair share” from those who would otherwise steal public resources and abuse them to create obscene profits. The public language of statism is always about giving, providing, and ensuring. Pains are taken to hide the taking and destroying.Compulsion is not good or evil -- we are compelled to breathe, we are compelled to reproduce -- fortunately with less force than to breathe! Hiding the FACT of compulsion as well as it's source, and calling it "giving, providing, insuring" is evil in the sense that all lies are evil. It prevents decent reasonable people from being able to make rational and informed choices.
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