“We live in an upside down world,” says my father, shaking his head. He says that most every day nowadays. Most of the time I can’t blame him; many nutty things are happening all over the place. Whether governmental or economical (which seem become closer and closer toward being synonymous) or environmental or intrapersonal, decisions of all kinds are being made in ways that make me wonder where all of the thinking people went to lunch that day. I bet it has great soup.
For days now I’ve wanted to jot down a few thoughts on societal goings-on, such as the stimulus bill or Obama’s moves to socialize healthcare or how so many countries are finger pointing at Israel for winning a war against enemies who threatened its lives. I’ve also wanted to communicate several sentiments to my representative and senators like a good citizen. In both attempts, however, I’ve stifled myself with my own frustration. Too many thoughts flare up at once to make anything coherent, or at least to make anything sound remotely like an argument instead of merely a rightist rant.
So instead, in regards to my feelings on the stimulus bill and any attempt to make this country communist, I have decided to let Milton Friedman say it for me, like the good University of Chicago alumna I am.
In this little clip, Friedman does well to set the perspective: he does not deny suffering in the world, nor does he defend greed as a kind of good, but rather reminds us that greed exists everywhere, and as he says, there has been no economic system discovered to date that produces a better society than what a free enterprise can offer. If its hope and change you want, I suggest you look anywhere but the government. Thinking of the government as some sort of amiable parental figure, ready to bail you out in case you get a boo boo, ready to help you blow your nose in tissues made of treasury bills, think again. Even if the government thinks it can do this, not only will this sentiment not last, it never should be there in the first place. When discussing free enterprise, it’s usually good to emphasize the “free” aspect of it. Of course, abuse of the system in cases of monopolies or fraud ought to be punished, but otherwise, do as the Beatles do, and let it be. And yes, the government can do things to create incentives, such as having tax cuts. But it takes less than two minutes of economic instruction to tell you that putting a trillion dollars of pork into the economy is a bad idea as it leads to inflation. Further, it takes no economic lesson whatsoever to make a thinking person ask, “Where is the money coming from?” Out of my pocket, that’s where! Debt must be paid eventually, and it will likely come out of the taxes of the children of baby boomers. As a citizen of the United States, I consider it my duty to pay taxes, and I will willingly do so. But like any other human, I am a little less willing to pay taxes when I know they will be funding free checks to illegal immigrants and the construction of a Frisbee golf course. Nothing against Frisbee golf, but who in their right mind thinks that this is how the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT should busy itself? Surely, it has more important things to worry about, such as the leader of the IRS who does not pay his own taxes, or rampant black on black crimes that go completely unreported everyday, or perhaps terrorists who long so desperately to see all Americans die exceedingly painful deaths.
“Up is down, big is small, and the Cheshire Cat keeps on smiling.” –Lewis Carroll