ECONOMY--LABOR--BUSINESS


Whenever business and government "work together", a cozy power alliance results. Lawyers, lobbyists and special interest contributors use the force of law to gain unfair advantage in the marketplace, creating a privileged class.

When we reduce government power, we will reduce special interest power. Instead of stifling and stealing from producers, there should be "capitalist acts between consenting people." It's bureaucratic economic meddling that creates poverty, injustice and depressions.

From the end of the Revolutionary War to the beginning of World War I (with the exception of the Civil War), America was an example of the prosperity of freedom. Privileges, restrictions and taxes were minimal. Inventive, creative, productive human energy expanded material prosperity dramatically. The standard of living improved and flowed to all segments of the economy and population, even though the number of Americans was multiplying. Germany repeated this economic miracle in 1948:

            Ludwig Erhard   PROSPERITY THROUGH COMPETITION    June, 1948

"Shop windows filled with goods and factories began to work. Streets swarmed with activity; the black markets disappeared. Everywhere the noise of new buildings going up replaced the deathly silence of ruins. If the state of recovery was a surprise, its swiftness was even more so, in all sectors of economic life. On the eve of free market reform the Germans were aimlessly wandering about their towns in search of a few additional items of food. A day later they thought of nothing but producing. One day apathy was mirrored on their faces, while on the next the whole nation looked hopefully into the future."

But now, tragically, we have been lulled into believing that is all a dream of the past. We are told we must limit our horizons, forget that American Dream, and sacrifice. But we are tired of sacrificing for the mistakes and greed of politicians and their privileged special interest friends, while citizens, foreign countries and other scapegoats are blamed.

When LABOR became organized and centralized, instead of removing business privilege, labor used the same political mechanism to create labor monopolies. Thus we got big business and big labor politics: specifically the Departments of Labor, Commerce and Agriculture.  Centralized political power concentrates economic power.

JOBS: Government doesn't create jobs, it destroys them through wasted use of capital, and bureaucratic overhead and regulations. Street vendors have been severely restricted by zoning and other methods that were encouraged by established merchants to reduce competition. The same is true of taxi and bus transportation. These were two important areas for the poor and immigrants to start their American upward mobility dream. We tend to forget that new Americans are also consumers so there is no overall job loss. And if we would once again export freedom,  
there would be less need to flee tyranny--in Mexico for example.

If we take money away from government, will it end jobs? Yes, in Wash DC and other bureaucratic centers.
But wealth, jobs and development will be spread back over the country, recreating productive employment with people in control of their own destinies. Wealth will be produced, spent and invested where
need and the marketplace require, creating jobs.

Unemployment benefits:  It's absurd to pay people not to work long-term,  when our newspapers are crammed with Help Wanted requests. We must drastically reform this insurance concept to reflect free market labor principles. Individuals or businesses can privately buy it, but the best insurance is still work. Someday we will look back and see that providing rewards for not working was one of the most foolish government functions--
among heavy competition for that title.

Central Planning:  Some Senate Finance Committee hearings were about energy subsidies to the poor. For natural gas? Yes, unanimous. Fuel oil and coal? Yes, unanimous. Firewood? No, 1-ll. Cow dung? The price had increased at a startling rate, according to expert comment. It was a surprise to the public gallery that there was a need to subsidize cow dung, since there was a surplus of it in that room. Cow dung subsidies weren't introduced for a vote. What makes these fools think they can manage an economy in English, any better than it's done in Russian or Chinese? Let the market decide and allocate; we would have better energy value, faster and fairer. We need a complete separation of economy and state;  the best plan is no plan--that's liberty.

            Milton Friedman    1978

"How did we make the transition from using wood to using coal, from coal to oil, from oil to using natural gas?
How in God's name did we make that transition without a Federal Energy Agency?"

When government dictates prices above fair market value (price supports, minimum wage, etc) there will eventually be SURPLUSES.
When prices are forced below market value (rent controls, price ceilings, etc) there will be SHORTAGES.

In a free market, dollars are votes;  government manipulation stuffs the ballot box,  and is a fraud on the system.

Monopolies: In a truly free market, there will always be choices available, and foreign competition unless it's restricted too. Fear of cartels, trusts and reduced competition comes from a long history of government (and king) granted subsidies, favors, bailouts, tariffs, regulations, charters, contracts, licenses, zones, restrictions, land grants, and especially financial and credit manipulations.

This process accelerates during war but is not repealed with peace. War preparations cloak the whole scheme in the sanctity of patriotism and solidify the government-business organized crime syndicate. Militaristic aspirations and adventures to  "protect vital American (read favored corporate) interests"  are encouraged by interlocking directorships and revolving door private job offers to government employees of the banking-war- business machine.
Or as Ike said, " Beware the military-industrial complex".

Farmers and Ranchers have a long, proud history of self-reliance;  they are the original libertarians. American agriculture should know by now that government meddling has done more harm than good:  interest rates, inflation, bureaucrazies, transportation regulations, taxes (especially inheritance taxes)--with minor handouts and special favors given back to cynically buy votes. There should be no embargoes, price ceilings, tariffs, planting restrictions, supports or subsidies. There must be strict liability protecting private property rights regarding water, pollution, pesticides and other hazards.  Agricultural research, advice, market and weather reports should be private businesses.


Protectionism:
Walter Block 1976

"The premise which justifies protectionism on the national level also justifies it on the state level. For example, the state of Montana could bar imports from other states on the grounds they represent labor which a Montanan could have been given but was not. A "Buy Montana" program would then be in order. It would be just as illogical and unsound as a "Buy American" campaign. The argument, however, does not end at the state level. It can, with equal justification, be applied to cities, or neighborhoods. "Buy Elm Street" or "Stop exporting jobs to Maple Street" could become the rallying cries for protectionists. We would have to conclude that it applies even to individuals. For clearly, every time an individual makes a purchase, he is foregoing the manufacture of it himself."


            Frederic Bastiat   1846  France

"We candle makers are suffering from the unfair competition of a low-priced foreign rival. Our customers desert us and related industries are also injured. This rival is the sun! Please pass a law requiring the covering of all windows, skylights, holes and cracks. Domestic manufactures will be stimulated. Agriculture will thrive on the need for tallow. Whale oil demand will improve shipping and thus defense. Jobs will be created and everyone will benefit.
We have always served our country well and gratitude demands we be protected."

 
           Ayn Rand    1957

"Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. 
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion---
when you see that in order to produce,  you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing---
when you see that money is flowing to those who deal,  not in goods,  but in favors---
when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work,  and your laws don't protect you against them,
        but protect them against you---
when you see corruption being rewarded and  honesty becoming self-sacrifice---
        you may know your society is doomed."

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