An astute observation
From Jeff Randall at The Telegraph
Debt excusers argue that this sharp rise in obligations is good economics. The government, they say, should pump up demand with borrowed money in bad times and then claw it back after the dark clouds have passed. The trouble is, that’s not how modern liberal democracies function. What begins as maximum government intervention quickly becomes the minimum acceptable, as the electorate demands ever greater handouts of somebody else’s money. Terrified of being rejected by voters who regard temporary help as permanent rights, politicians keep spending. I spoke recently to Robert Shapiro, a former Clinton adviser and Obama supporter, and even he admitted that US health care costs are in danger of running out of control and will have to be restrained. But who has the courage?
Followed by the obligatory Rand quote:
A mixed economy is rule by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies, all fighting to seize a momentary control of the legislative machinery, to extort some special privilege at one another’s expense by an act of government—i.e., by force. In the absence of individual rights, in the absence of any moral or legal principles, a mixed economy’s only hope to preserve its precarious semblance of order, to restrain the savage, desperately rapacious groups it itself has created, and to prevent the legalized plunder from running over into plain, unlegalized looting of all by all—is compromise; compromise on everything and in every realm—material, spiritual, intellectual—so that no group would step over the line by demanding too much and topple the whole rotted structure. If the game is to continue, nothing can be permitted to remain firm, solid, absolute, untouchable; everything (and everyone) has to be fluid, flexible, indeterminate, approximate. By what standard are anyone’s actions to be guided? By the expediency of any immediate moment.
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