Humans are either stupid or they are smart. If they are smart, it is outrageous to think that they might need central economic planners to organize the economy for them. If they are stupid, it is absurd to think that they have what it takes to elect the right politicians.
Some might argue: it is not for intellectual incapability that government must help the economy along, it is rather for the immorality of those acting in the market.
And thus the first statement comes back into play: either humans are moral or they are immoral. If they are moral, what is the need for government to organize the economy? And if they are immoral, must we trust a few of them to control the economy when the masses depend on their actions?
While the above may seem akin to rhetorical flourish, it is better seen as drawing the curtains back on most of the basic claims that the State and its most diehard proponents make in order to justify their presence as Recipients of Taxes. Making oneself feel useful is of course a natural instinct when one works in an environment like the Federal Government where the great troubles of the global economy originate. In an environment where the corruption is at perhaps the highest levels in the world (American Exceptionalism!) the guilt complex must be nearly overbearing. Thus, the politician feels in his soul the deep desire to justify his actions by convincing those under him that his services are in great demand.
What is interesting though is not that the politicians and their buddy-buddy talking heads attempt to justify the existence of every government program under the sun, for such a message has been around for thousands of years. Rather, the interesting part is that it just so happens that the “right person for the job” is usually the one making the arguments. Right? We’ve got Pete the Politician saying: “look, someone’s gotta do this stuff. Someone’s gotta have all this power and influence on the world of legislation. So I’m gonna sacrifice for the team.”
Well, that is mighty kind of him, but as we have seen, his justification for being there in Washington is a bunch of hooey. And not only that, but the coercively-driven do-gooderism is downright annoying. I’ll risk the so-called bad people in society who have little power rather than have these clucks in office trying to control my life for –get this — “my own benefit.” This brings to mind Lysander Spooner’s statement that the highway robber is preferable to the politician:
The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a “protector,” and that he takes men’s money against their will, merely to enable him to “protect” those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful “sovereign,” on account of the “protection” he affords you. He does not keep “protecting” you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villanies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.
Is this radical? Indeed. But, I’ll have you know: my own experience seems to verify the “Spooner doctrine.”
I bet your own experience verifies this as well. The old joke goes like this: “Dad, I’m going to be a thief.” ”Well son, that is interesting… you going private or public sector?”
The thing about the theft industry in the private sector is this: the multitudes recognize the wrongfulness of such activity.