Libertarian commentary on the news, #14-36B: The economy (or lack thereof)

By Nathan Barton

Good morning. When it comes  to economics, the economy, and markets, government EXCELS in making stupid mistakes and then making MORE stupid mistakes to “fix” the first one(s).  After doing this for a century-plus, it is no wonder things are so badly messed up.

The consequences of anti-inversion laws are really, really bad, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be passed – or implemented by divine – opps, sorry, IMPERIAL, decree.  Lately, tax policy talk has focused on “inversion” — the process by which American companies re-domicile themselves abroad, like Burger King buying Tim Hortons and moving to Toronto.  This has Congress upset as it will be harder to steal from BK.  And that piece of trash called a Treasury Secretary (Jack Lew) said on Monday that the Fuehrer will soon take “executive action” to stop them.  What?  Is that why we haven’t invaded Syria or Crimea or Iran yet?  He needs the troops to occupy BK and Wendy’s and The Gap?  One more brick in the wall (literally, it seems) of the police state is being built:  Once we FOUGHT things like the Berlin Wall, and tried to keep people and businesses from coming in, now we are going to keep them from leaving.  I quote General Electric’s John Samuels:  “Why are we trying to raise the bar so it will be harder for companies to leave the United States?” General Electric tax planning chief John Samuels said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Why aren’t we trying to do something to make it more attractive for them to stay here?”  Why indeed?  Perhaps because the Fuehrer and much of Congress hate the Fifty States, liberty, independence and anyone who isn’t a slave.

More regulations mean less productivity (MRMLP) is something classical liberals and libertarians have pointed out for a VERY long time.  Someone else is chiming in: the Mercatus Center notes that from 1997 to 2010, output per worker in the least regulated industries increased 63 percent, while output in the most regulated firms increased just 33 percent.  I don’t think it is so much that the individual workers are less competent or capable, but that more and more of a company’s workforce is devoted to things that do NOT produce anything:  payroll and tax records, human resource records, environmental records, safety and health and “consumer rights” records – and that more and more of the company staff or contractors includes lawyers and specialists in things that have almost NOTHING to do with whatever widget the business makes.  One more nail in the coffin of the American economy.  Look, economic basics are NOT hard to understand, so why do they keep on getting it wrong?  The strongest industry, the strongest business, will eventually collapse under the burden of government: the amazing thing is that we’ve lasted so long.

How much are businesses paying in taxes? Businesses paid $671 billion in JUST state and local taxes in the 2013 fiscal year, reports Forbes.  Add another trillion in federal theft and you start to see the magnitude of our economic catastrophe.  And it is getting worse.  Even if taxes in the other 40 states were rolled back to the average of the ten LEAST taxing states, it would still be a disaster.  It is way PAST time for Atlas to shrug.  Again, it is amazing that businesses have been able to keep from collapsing under the weight: or rather, that MORE businesses have NOT collapsed.

Mama’s Note: And the very determination of people to trade, in spite of all the barriers and insanity, is one thing that gives me continued hope for humanity. The thousands of years of smuggling and black markets are a beacon of hope, not a blight – unless you are a controller, of course.

It is claimed that Government policies inadvertently hurt black Americans. In an interview with Reason TV, author Jason Riley discusses how government policies have hurt the black population.  “Inadvertently?”  Please!  None of the harm government does is “inadvertent.”  Rather, it is intentional because doing go – harming people – is the best avenue for greater power and control (and more money) for politicians of all stripes.  And the bureaucrats.

America’s labor force is becoming less flexible as government becomes more intrusive, reports Personal Liberty. It’s getting harder and harder to get hired into a legitimate job, as municipal, state and federal regulations continue to chip away at the incentive for ambitious individuals to seek a profit – or for job seekers (particularly low-skilled ones) to pursue employment.  Again,  even a robust economy would be hard pressed to deal with this: but a moribund economy like we have in 2014 and the fifth year of the Panic of 2009 is totally unable to do so.

Taking the Government OUT of health care is essential. Even without the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal government would be spending trillions of taxpayer dollars on single-payer health care entitlements.  States even more so. And every dollar damages the system, whether it is a dollar to provide medical services to a veteran or a miitary family or a welfare client.  As the Weekly Standard points out, the REAL solution is to get government OUT of the health care business.

Mama’s Note: Indeed… and OUT of education, “safety,” food, the environment… let’s see. Hmmm, I can’t think of anything the NON-VOLUNTARY government might be involved in that would actually be good for our individual liberty or the economy.  Individuals forming voluntary groups (voluntary governments) to address their problems in a free market environment would produce peace, wealth, health and happiness for everyone. It is just so hard to understand why so few people will even consider this.

Surprise, surprise.  Her Majesty is upset about the possible “Yes” vote of Scots for independence later this month, expressing her displeasure to her chief minister in their annual meeting.  Which is ONE of the problems that have the Scots angry enough that the vote is too close to call.  Meanwhile, politicians in Commons (the Lords are a dead letter drop nowadays) are trying to come up with ways to bribe voters north of Hadrian’s Wall to stay in SOME kind of Union with England and the stepchildren Wales and Northern Ireland. Who’d have thought, 50 or so years ago, that Scotland could vote to dissolve the United Kingdom before Ulster?  As I’ve pointed out, “independence” would be spurious and a waste of time unless Scotland also dropped out of the EU as well.  Their best bet, if they don’t want to stay in the UK, would be to become a Province of the Dominion of Canada.  But the negative impact of any choice (including staying in the UK) on the various national, Union, and world economies is going to be bad.

Mama’s Note: Sadly, since the people of Scotland (and probably the rest of them) are happy to remain socialists, Scottish “independence” is a farce. They are rushing headlong into the nanny/police state in any case. The fierce independence of my Scottish Highlander ancestors seems to have died out over there. The nanny/police state in Canada certainly doesn’t seem like any alternative.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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