“Fixing” the Economy is Stupid

I don’t understand why politicians are expected–and expect themselves–to “fix” the economy. It’s not their job, it’s not their right and it’s not even possible.

“The economy” refers to countless transactions, interactions and contractual arrangements, big and small, among literally billions of people. No CEO could control and command the whole thing, and certainly no politician can either. Why do educated people who know better continue to encourage this fallacy? It’s mind-boggling. Yes, I know that some who engage in this fantasy are power-lusters. But the millions who support, encourage, applaud and vote for this fallacy are the ones enabling it. Why don’t they act in their own self-interest and demand the opposite of what we’re getting? We need a new populism. We need an educated and informed populism which recognizes that government cannot force or control economic activity. Government needs to get out of the way, and limit its role to the very important activity of enforcing property and contract rights and fighting violent crime. This is all government can do for business. The rest is up to the billions of people who comprise “the economy.”