A Baker’s Dozen ™ Economic Lies

Some common lies spouted by governments, public education institutions, and financial institutions, among others:

1. The US Constitution’s “general welfare” clause means Congress may pass whatever legislation it thinks will help the country. Actually, the Preamble (in which this phrase is found) establishes NO powers to Congress or the Executive Branch, but simply explains why governments exist. The powers of Congress are clearly specified in Article 1. The Tenth Amendment restricts Congress. (Or was supposed to.)

2. The reason for the United States Post Office to be established was because private businesses could not and would not provide those services. In reality, the FedGov outlawed successful businesses which provided mail service in much of the nation.

3. 19th-century American “robber barons” were evil parasites who gouged consumers. Actually, the so-called robber barons gained their wealth by providing goods and services that consumers needed and demanded. However, they manipulated laws and regulations and secured unfair advantage to cheat, steal, and gain unfair advantages over competitors.

4. “States’ rights” is a euphemism for slavery and racist oppression. In reality, the Constitution specifically establishes that States have powers – not rights, though miscalled that – that the FedGov does not. Historically, the phrase “states’ rights” has been abused more by those seeking to let the FedGov lord it over the States and the people.

5. Secession is unconstitutional. The truth is that the Constitution does not address secession by States at all – except in the Tenth Amendment, that all other powers not forbidden to the states by the Constitution are reserved to each state. While the Articles of Confederation referred to a ‘perpetual union’ that language does not exist in the 1787 Constitution.

6. Governments own and operate public highways because no private business or organization would or could provide them: they could not afford to do so. In truth, before the establishment of the fuel excise tax to subsidize highways, railroads and privately financed highways (built, operated, and maintained through tolls and voluntary public subscription) were providing transportation and expanding across the nation. Governments got involved to promote projects that could not be justified economically.

7. The Great Depression was caused by uncontrolled predatory capitalism and lack of government regulation. Actually, the Depression was caused by the Federal Reserve and stupid decisions by government agencies that allowed credit and debt to explode. Similar foolish government actions had triggered “panics” and still trigger “recessions” today.

8. World War II got us out of the Great Depression. As explained by Richard Fulmer for FEE, the war was an economic disaster in which trillions of dollars of treasure were destroyed in combat, but which forced Roosevelt to end the other disaster, the New Deal, which had prevented recovery for more than a decade. The New Deal actually prolonged the depression, crippling private enterprise and giving more and more power to government. (This lie was created to combat another lie, that the New Deal ended the Great Depression.)

9. The 2008 financial crisis was caused by deregulation. Actually, “deregulation” of the financial and other industries was a myth perpetrated by politicians and bureaucrats. As reported in a 2009 article by Cato Institute and another by QuantGov.com show that regulations greatly increased in the decade leading to the crisis. Once more, it was stupid action by government parasites and those using those regulations to cheat and steal that caused the recession.

10. Capitalism hurts the poor. History shows that capitalism (free enterprise) instead helps the poor by lifting people out of poverty through opportunity and efficient allocation of resources – the exact opposite of socialism and communism based on public control/ownership and centralized decision-making. As Thinker Education explains using the works of Arthur Brooks, Michael Novak, and Walter E Williams, capitalism is a moral system as well as an economic system and when not hobbled by government regulations and stupidity, is incredibly helpful to the poor.

11. Lengthy and complex treaties and other agreements, and thousands of pages of government regulations, are essential for international free trade. Incredibly, the idea that thousands of words are necessary to “regulate” trading in order for it to be “free” is believed by millions. Propaganda to support such nonsense as the massive rules of the European Union, NAFTA, USMCA, and the TPP have pushed this lie. “Free trade” means that people and businesses (and even governments) can go and buy goods and services voluntarily from willing sellers and providers free of impediments – especially government regulations and nonsensical treaties.

12. Disparities in income between people of different races, sexes, and religions are caused by discrimination. A frequent claim of media, government and special interest groups is debunked by, among others, Dr. Thomas Sowell’s 2017 book “Discrimination and Disparities” which reinforces the ideas of W.E.B. Du Bois – yes, THAT Du Bois! – in 1899. There are many, many factors which cause economic disparities, but the idea that governments can take actions to ameliorate those differences is wrong. Unless the action is to REDUCE government power and control. History – true history – demonstrates the opposite.

13. Social Security isn’t a Ponzi scheme. Technically, it is not, since the term “Ponzi scheme” was coined long after the con-job perpetrated by the New Deal of FDR was implemented. But it really is: using later participants’ money to pay off earlier participants! And so far, through massive theft and con-artistry, the scheme has survived almost 90 years. But ultimately, the money is going to run out. Trillions of dollars of liability can only be done away with IF the value of the US Dollar is totally trashed. (Which may be in progress!)

These are just a few of the many lies we have been hearing, often for decades. Unless we can teach people the truth on these and other lies, we will be able to do nothing to avoid a total collapse. But the more we teach the truth, the better our future will be.

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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4 Responses to A Baker’s Dozen ™ Economic Lies

  1. FrankInFL says:

    With respect to the two words “general welfare,” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. If the words obtained so readily a place in the “Articles of Confederation,” and received so little notice in their admission into the present Constitution, and retained for so long a time a silent place in both, the fairest explanation is, that the words, in the alternative of meaning nothing or meaning everything, had the former meaning taken for granted.

    — James Madison, letter to James Robertson


    • Steve says:

      True enough.

      So why didn’t he stand up to the Committee of 8 (or whatever; I don’t recall) when they struck “expressly delegated”? As in Article 2 of the Articles, “”Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”

      Jefferson warned Madison that the “general welfare” would come to mean whatever Congress set it’s mind to. And Hamilton warned in Federalist #84 that the existence of a Bill of Rights would provide the pretext for usurping powers not delegated.

      But whatever Madison intended, if it’s not in the document, it’s not in the document.


  2. Thomas L. Knapp says:

    The US Constitution’s “general welfare” clause means Congress may pass whatever legislation it thinks will help the country. Actually, the Preamble (in which this phrase is found) establishes NO powers to Congress or the Executive Branch, but simply explains why governments exist. The powers of Congress are clearly specified in Article 1.

    And Article 1 also refers to the general welfare.

    One problem (among many) with the Constitution is that far from “clearly specifying” things, it’s full of poorly written clauses that can be used to miracle up all kinds of possibly unintended powers.


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