Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Broken Windows

It's a common belief that WW II brought America out of the Depression. It's true that a lot of people were put to work building tanks and bombs. This production however was not geared toward things that consumers needed. People were worse off because capital and labor was diverted away from the production of consumer goods.

The tax monies of of 60% of taxpayers funded the activities of the other 40% of the work force that was not producing things that consumers needed. This amounted to to a net loss of material wealth for the country.

No one during the war could buy a new car or house or major appliance since the government had forbidden their production. Things we take for granted today such as meat, chocolate, rubber tires even gasoline was very difficult for the average person to obtain.

It wasn't the New Deal or WW II that brought America out of the Depression. It was the long delayed return to free market activities that occurred after the war.

You'll often hear people talk about how good war is for the economy. If that were true the government should start bombing major American cities. Just think of how many people could be put to work rebuilding everything. And we could hire thousands of health care professional to care for the injured and dying. This is the Broken Window Fallacy (Just Google: Bastiat Broken Window).

Our country has been is a state of war — cold or otherwise — almost continuously since the end of WW II. These wars don't improve our economy — just the opposite. We are in hock up to our eyeballs to China to pay for our global military adventures.

If I Ran For President

...my platform would be as follows:

If elected President, I promise to do as little as possible.

I will not use my Executive powers to legislate or adjudicate.

I will push no agenda.

If a bill is put on my desk that is unconstitutional I will veto it.

I will not prop up failing companies. I will let them fail so that the capital and labor can be made available to build better companies. The market picks the winner and losers, not me.

I will not tell you that you shouldn't smoke or that you should exercise or what you should eat or what kind of car you should drive or what kind of light bulb to put in your lamp. You're all grown ups. Figure it out.

I won't advise you on your religious practices or your lack thereof. That's you're business. I'm running for President, not Pope.

I will honor treaties and agreements that we are already committed to but I will avoid new alliances whenever possible. Foreign entanglements lead to wasteful and unwinnable disputes.

However, there are a few "modest" undertakings (which I believe fall within the purview of constitutional presidential powers) that I will attempt.

I will work toward removing any and all barriers to free trade.

I will deploy the military only if there is a clear and present danger to our country or our interests. I will move toward disengaging from current conflicts. I will attempt to shrink the military-industrial complex and broker for peace.

I will advocate for liberty. I will enforce equality under the law for all citizens. I will use the power of the federal government to protect individual rights (especially property rights) not to threaten them.

Thank you.