Who screwed up our economy?

Governments never learn, only people learn.
- Milton Friedman

Under Woodrow Wilson the Federal Reserve came into existence under the pretext of providing a stabilizing force to control the economic cycles.  12 years after it’s creation the longest economic crisis in American history happened.

Under Roosevelt The New Deal gave unprecedented power to the federal government.  These new powers allowed government to jump into each new disaster without worrying as much about the troublesome restrictions the Constitution placed on federal powers.  From this point forward, when situations arose, people turned to government, and government acted.  When the problems did not go away, government gained more power, more money and kept trying.  30 to 40 years with the War on Poverty and War on Drugs, government still requests money and power to fix the problems.  Do we ever learn?

Johnson turned to the disenfranchised and appealed to the American sense of decency to give welfare to the poor.  “Welfare” was an interesting name for a program.  Since the word is used in our founding documents, it must be constitutional right?  Not only did this advance the causes of redistribution and socialism, but it has also lead to the general accepted use of misdirection in legislation names.  If a ‘privacy’ bill is passed, your privacy is probably gone.  If a ‘child protection’ act becomes law, parents are probably no longer the protector of their children.

Under Clinton nothing huge seemed to happen.  It looked like we would have government health care forced upon us, but that did not pass.  One small thing slipped by, the quasi-government mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were pressured to release funds to under qualified applicants.  No one, not democrats, not republicans, and very few libertarians would see this for the looming disaster it has turned into.

Under Bush we made some huge strides into fascism.  The rights of the individual became secondary to the will of the government.  Additionally, Bush gave us an unjustified war by mistake which has had crippling costs.  Finally, let’s not forget the end of the Bush years with multiple stimulus packages, each more costly than the last.

So who got us into this mess?  All of the above, plus WE let them.  It could also be said that It’s human nature.

Societies without much government interference grow and prosper.  Then they misguidedly look after the lower classes with government welfare.  Government grows, causes problems, and then grows again when everyone habitually turns to government to fix the next crisis, which comes sooner and sooner.

All the great societies of the world have fallen before us.  Now it’s our turn.  I would say it is inevitable, but we have something working in our favor that never existed before:  exponential growth of technology.

If the rapid growth of computers, the internet, and digital storage hadn’t introduced an entirely new industry to America over the last 15 years, our economy would have likely collapsed years ago.

A new industry now could prolong our way of life.  Advances in alternative energy could have a breakthrough allowing cheap and clean energy.  Medical/biological advances could add years to our lives and possible allow the skilled senior citizens to remain economically valuable in their later years.  Robotics could improve overall productivity.  Nanotechnology could build anything and everything for pennies, which we might be able to afford in the decades to come.

So what should we be doing now?  Hell if I know.  Be very wary of government that has a plan.  It’s likely that if you think our current problems are bad, just wait until you see the solutions.

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