Government, Step Aside!

I’m the first one to criticize our politicians. But the way things are set up today, it’s inevitable that ALL of them must look stupid. By “set up today” I am referring to the false assumptions most people hold about government and economics. Most assume that government can, and therefore should, fix the economic problems that ail us. This assumption defies the fact that “the economy” is actually a combination of millions of different individuals doing hundreds of thousands of different things, at any given moment in time. No one leader–a President, for example–can step in and manipulate the actions, attitudes and interests of millions of different people at one time for “the better of everyone.” It’s impossible. There is no amount of brilliance, rationality or democratically granted power that can achieve the impossible. It’s frankly incredible that nearly everyone accepts this as an undisputed given. I think the problem here isn’t merely ignorance; it’s also fear. Many of the people who assume the government can control everything are well-educated, and know better. But, at the same time, they cannot stand the idea that control isn’t easier than it is. They lack serenity and realism. They cannot stand for a world in which millions of different people make their own decisions, for themselves, in a context where government does not intervene at all, except in cases of violence, fraud or theft. This is inconceivable to nearly everyone, yet it’s the only way for human progress to continue. This is how we got as far as we did. So don’t pin your hopes on President Anyone to “fix it all.” It can’t be done. And this is GOOD news…if only government would get out of the way.