Lessons in govt meddling [updated]
Phil Goff is upset about the current government not renewing the terms of several Labour appointed member of broads of state-controlled companies, but as Paul Walker points out, “the problem seems to me to be that governments make these appointments in the first place.”
Here's a simple answer to the problem of government appointments to state boards: privatise the companies. That way there will be no appointments for governments to make and the whole problem will go away.
Simple enough, eh?
It’s a point Timothy Geithner and his boss might like to get their heads around. Specifically, if you don’t like the idea of AIG executives taking bonuses after being bailed out to the tune of US$180 billion, then don’t go bailing out private companies. That way there’s be no huge bonuses paid out of taxpayers’ money, and the whole problem will go away.
Simple really, eh.
And if you don’t like the “scale of risk taking” taken on by companies like AIG, Mr Geithner, then give some thought to the moral hazard created when the government and all its agencies backstops private risk (as they’ve been doing) and then rewards all the risk-taking when the risk-takers have overdone it. That way private companies will know in advance that they and they alone are responsible for the risks they choose to take.
And if you fail to heed these lessons, then don’t use the results of your meddling as an excuse to seize private companies, which is exactly what you now want the power to do.
In fact, if there’s a lesson in all of this –- one you, Mr Geithner, are undoubtedly already too morally impugned to grasp – it’s one that the rapidly increasing number of Ayn Rand readers are slowly realising:
“If the critics of capitalism had bothered to read Ayn Rand, they would know that their attacks are part of a historical trend of blaming capitalism for the sins of government intervention--a trend that needs to stop if we are to prevent further economic damage.
“In The Voice of Reason, Rand wrote: ‘One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.’
“Is this not exactly what is happening?
“In Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, she wrote: ‘If a detailed, factual study were made of all those instances in the history of American industry which have been used by the statists as an indictment of free enterprise and as an argument in favor of a government-controlled economy, it would be found that the actions blamed on businessmen were caused, necessitated, and made possible only by government intervention in business. The evils, popularly ascribed to big industrialists, were not the result of an unregulated industry, but of government power over industry. The villain in the picture was not the businessman, but the legislator, not free enterprise, but government controls.’”
UPDATE: More news on the “rapidly increasing number of Ayn Rand readers” from James Valliant:
Atlas Shrugged is now #19 in all books at Amazon.
#1 in Books > Lit. & Fict. > Contemporary,
#1 in Books > Lit. & Fict. > General > Classics,
#1 in Books > Lit. & Fict. > World Lit,
#1 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Classics > United States,
#1 Authors, A-Z , and
#1 General > Classics.
Looks like the more that American Government destroys capitalism, the more people are desperate to learn about it.