Skip to comments.'Basically an Optimist'—Still (November 2010)
Posted on 03/27/2010 9:19:38 AM PDT by RobinMasters
The Nobel economist says the health-care bill will cause serious damage, but that the American people can be trusted to vote for limited government in November.
"No, no. Not at all."
So says Gary Becker when asked if the financial collapse, the worst recession in a quarter of a century, and the rise of an administration intent on expanding the federal government have prompted him to reconsider his commitment to free markets.
Mr. Becker is a founder, along with his friend and teacher the late Milton Friedman, of the Chicago school of economics. More than four decades after winning the John Bates Clark Medal and almost two after winning the Nobel Prize, the 79-year-old occupies an unusual position for a man who has spent his entire professional life in the intensely competitive field of economics: He has nothing left to prove.
Which makes it all the more impressive that he works as hard as an associate professor trying to earn tenure. He publishes regularly, carries a full-time teaching load at the University of Chicago (he's in his 32nd year), and engages in a running argument with his friend Judge Richard Posner on the "Becker-Posner Blog," one of the best-read Web sites on economics and the law.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Thank you for posting this encouraging article.
What was the prospect, I asked Mr. Becker, that this generation would indeed keep its liberty? “It could go either way,” he replies. “[economist] Milton [Friedman] was right about that.”
Mr. Becker recites some figures. For years, federal spending remained level at about 20% of GDP. Now federal spending has risen to 25% of GDP. On current projections, federal spending would soon rise to 28%. “That concerns me,” Mr. Becker says. “It concerns me a great deal.
“But when Milton was starting out,” he continues, “people really believed a state-run economy was the most efficient way of promoting growth. Today nobody believes that, except maybe in North Korea. You go to China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, even Western Europe. Most of the economists under 50 have a free-market orientation. Now, there are differences of emphasis and opinion among them. But they’re oriented toward the markets. That’s a very, very important intellectual victory. Will this victory have an effect on policy? Yes. It already has. And in years to come, I believe it will have an even greater impact.”
The sky outside his window has begun to darken. Mr. Becker stands, places some papers into his briefcase, then puts on a tweed jacket and cap. “When I think of my children and grandchildren,” he says, “yes, they’ll have to fight. Liberty can’t be had on the cheap. But it’s not a hopeless fight. It’s not a hopeless fight by any means. I remain basically an optimist.”
Drafting no bill at all would have been easier.
I think that’s the great thing about we Americans. We are the first to help out a stranger and the first to fight with all our might to turn some thing wrong into some thing right...Just the way we are!!
I don't believe the war declared on our country by Obama, islam, and the left (the new "Axis") requires an emotion response...it does require an empirical and strategic defensive response however.
We are at war and need to take action accordingly.
And BTW...defeat is not an option!
bump for later read....
There’s not much overlap between “free market” and what the U.S. banking and finance system has become over the last thirty years.
The free market (Laissez-faire Capitalism) did not cause this crisis, the government (CRONY Capitalism/Socialism/Communism) did.
The free market did not take us off the gold standard, the government did.
The free market did not dump trillions of dollars of cheap money into the system causing the largest asset bubble in history, the government did.
The free market did not create Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae and Sallie Mae, the government did.
The free market did not pass laws that force banks to lend to those who do not qualify for a loan, the government did.
The free market did not create multiple multi-trillion-dollar unfunded entitlement programs, the government did.
The free market did not write a 60,000+ page tax code that punishes work, rewards sloth and buys the votes of special interest groups, the government did.
The free market did not destroy our public school system and graduate (or fail to graduate) generations of civically and financially illiterate citizens, the government did.
The free market did not drive our jobs overseas and kill our entrepreneurial spirit with over-taxation, over-regulation and frivolous lawsuits, the government did.
The free market did not ban drilling for oil, vilify coal and block the building of nuclear power plants in the United States, thereby transferring hundred of billions of dollars of American wealth and many thousands of energy-industry jobs to foreign countries, the government did.
This crisis is the result of a giant social engineering experiment and vote-buying scheme gone tragically wrong.
The free market does not try to engineer society or buy votes, the government does.
The government caused this crisis, the free market did not.
The government cannot fix the crisis, the free market can.
Great post. That’s a keeper.
Our nation stands on the twin pillars of state and market. They both need to be empowered, but not at each other’s expense. Strong national defense and limited government empowers state while expansionist government and welfare state weakens it. Similarly, expansionist market and free trade empowers markets while regulations and taxation weakens market. An easy way to destroy a nation is to invert these principles on which each pillar derives empowerment.