Friday, May 03, 2013
The Greatest Blog Post Ever Written
Deirdre McCloskey’s blog post entitled “Factual Free-Market Fairness” was called the “greatest blog post ever written” by an economist from George Mason University. I agree. With wit and charm, she dissected the arguments in favor of government intervention and replaced it with the truth of economic liberty.
Current economic theory takes for granted that externalities exist and the government needs to do something about it. Suffice it to say that McCloskey shot a whole in that argument in a matter of two sentences: “Externalities do not imply that a government can do better. Publicity does better than inspectors in restraining the alleged desire of businesspeople to poison their customers.” It is truth. The free-market press is more than able to regulate free-market business.
She goes on to back up her ideology with precision: “How do I know that my narrative is better than yours? The experiments of the 20th century told me so.” Her argument is hard to deny. Today we have a plethora of data that shows that experiments with central planning have failed; governments built on the principles of economic liberty have thrived.
In the latter half of the post, McCloskey poignantly clarified the ultimate consequences of government regulation: it always hurts the poor and common man in favor of those well-connected and in control. Example after example drove home her point: labor unions and minimum wage help some at expense of everybody else (particularly the poor). The SEC and FDIC has done little to help small investors or depositors when the government uses tax-payers money to bail-out the banks that had incentive to give out risky loans. “Foreign aid has enriched tyrants not helped the poor”. And the list goes on; profound example after profound example.This Greatest Blog Post Ever Written needs to be required reading.