Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Politicians feel pressure to act

Politicians feel pressure to act

(My Clovis News Journal column for July 15, 2011. As written, not as published.)

Politically-minded people are starting to anticipate election season. This means many of them will be asking the wrong questions of the candidates; who will be all-too willing to answer them.

We are already hearing politicians detailing what they would do about things that no government, nor any politician, has any authority to be involved in. Things like the economy and job creation, to pick a couple of prime examples.

Sure those things are important, and the natural desire of many seems to be to find or place someone "in authority" to do something beneficial for both. This path to a solution leads nowhere but over the cliff.

It's like asking me what I would do to stop dogs from scratching themselves in public. Or what I would do to stop my neighbors from watching the "wrong" television programs, or from eating unhealthy food. It is not, and could never be, within my authority no matter my job title, and even if it were, anything I might propose to do would be useless if not outright counterproductive due to unintended consequences.

Government can't create jobs other than government jobs, but government jobs don't help the economy; they diminish it. Government can also destroy jobs and prevent the market from creating jobs through regulation and taxation. The best thing government can do for job creation is to get out of the way. And the best thing government could do for the economy, along with getting out of the way of job creation, would be to shut down the counterfeiting operation at the Federal Reserve.

Yet those solutions are seen by most voters as "doing nothing", so are avoided at all costs. Politicians want to be remembered for action, even if it is the wrong one, rather than what is seen as inaction.

The best answers a candidate can give to those sorts of questions would make him unelectable, which is why America ends up with a growing economic mess and devastating law pollution, no matter which of the increasingly indistinguishable major parties takes the reins.



  1. Hi Kent,

    "And the best thing government could do for the economy… would be to shut down the counterfeiting operation at the Federal Reserve."

    Now wait a minute. The Federal Reserve is a private business. My only beef with the Fed is that they have a monopoly on U.S. currency. The Federal Reserve Note is arguably the most successful product ever produced anywhere. And just like a tobacco company that produces a product which shortens its customer's lives, they have a right to produce whatever people are willing to pay them for. Without that government-granted monopoly, of course, the Fed would fall apart like a cheap taco, and I'd be the first customer to bail on them, in favor of gold or silver coins. To hell with paper.

    I stand squarely with the ZAP, no matter how repugnant I might find my fellow human's choices.


  2. If the Fed were completely private, I would agree. The government-imposed monopoly - and Bernard von Nothaus' conviction- puts that lie right out in the bright light of reality.

    It's like if McDonald's suddenly got a government-granted monopoly that allowed it to sell food while making any competition illegal. McDonald's might not be an official branch of the government at that point, but if you couldn't open a Taco Bell to compete because that would be illegal- and you were ordered by "law" to eat only at the "privately-owned" McDonald's- then how private is it really?

    Remove the monopoly and let people choose, and THEN I can roll my eyes at the dumb choices some people make. The fed's monopoly, and the way in which it is enforced, violate the ZAP unequivocally.

  3. Kent,


    OK, by that definition, then all corporations, all businesses, are not private. Any permit or regulation makes them a partner in cahoots with government. Doesn't matter whether that cahootness helps or hurts them. Same for drivers licenses and real estate taxes, ad infinitum. I'm not a private individual unless I forswear all connection with government, which is, of course, an impossibly difficult way to live. As for the Fed, barter is, and has always been, an alternative to using FRN's. Since most people prefer FRN exchanges to barter, it's a product that people think improves their lives. Please understand that I think the Federal Reserve Bank pulled off the largest theft in history, and I have zero love for that bunch of crooks.

    Government interferes with the way people interact, so it's hard to say what people would support in freedom. We can only guess. (And daydream.)

    And while we're daydreaming, we can dream about libertarian islands.


  4. All corporations are in cahoots with The State (since corporations are a government-created favored institution), but coercing someone to have a permit for their business, or a license to drive, isn't the same thing, in my eyes. You are not to blame when you cooperate because a gun is being held to your head. This seems like blaming the rape victim for the crimes of her attacker.