Do you think Governments should be allowed economic control
November 28, 2008 9:43am CST
As an amateur economist, it occurs to me that the Western World free market economy would run a lot smoother without governments playing politics with the economy. Politicians are only in office for a few years, yet they are permitted to make decisions which will cause after-shocks for years to come with no accountability whatsoever. Who ever heard of a politician being sued for making a bad judgment?? Politicians are first and foremost concerned with getting themselves re-elected rather than building a strong economy for the future. For instance Gordon Brown has just hiked up VAT in the UK, and plans to make adjustments to raise the lost revenue AFTER the next election - isn't this just wrong - it's like you buy a car now, but you will pay for it in your next life... So my question is, how can we stop politicians meddling with economics - later we can get onto how we can stop them controlling the armed forces too!
• United States
28 Nov 08
first of all, your economis outlook has a name, its called "leise faire" which basically means, government is completely out of the world of commerce, and lets businesses run independently. and i dont know if you've been living under a rock or something, but that is what the goverment has been trying to do, under every republican administration, or at least, some warped version of that idea (borrow and spend, fical conservatism; which is a misleading name btw, voodoo economics, etc. etc.) and all of them have failed.. every. single. time. so understanding your point of view, if we let businesses run by themselves without any real government regulation... then how do you explain, the government handouts to banks, and any other business thats "too big to fail"? which btw, thats complete nonsense, because no corporation should ever be "too big to fail" , in fact before your very eyes, the government has been trying to move to a more socialist idea. i dont think people really understand the benefits of socialistic programs (free health care, anyone?). because the every day person benefits from this, only media spin has made socialism a bad word, but i dont think anyone really understands the construct of this seemingly "fail proof" system. plus the proggresive tax system, which has never really let the middle class people down, tax and spend economics works like a charm (its only the rich that nag about it, because they fear having to pay for their wealth.) so my answer is, government needs to regulate businesses strictly, by enforcing regulations (not specifying here) that are more conducive to better business philosophies. capitalism, is just a fancy pyramid scheme that informed american public knows, and the only reason we dont move faster, is because the market is bear. fear, has kept everyone at odds and made them only sustain their lack of action, even our founding fathers knew the consequences of this type of system. do you know how long it tooks us to even develop a system like this? and do you know how many people along the way have opposed it? simply because they had foreseen this type of catastophe in which is occuring before us? so many in fact, that its almost prophetic with each quote recorded by each man that speaks on the subject.
• United States
29 Nov 08
Unfortunately the Bush administraton has not had a hands off policy with business, and a lot of the regulations that went in after the Enron scandal were way over the edge. I wish I could remeber the exact quote, but they were described by one economist as "killing a fly with a sledge hammer" I am not defending Enron here, but rather pointing out that most businesses are NOT corrupt, and the ones that are tend to fail. Yes this causes some hurt for the people in them but when problems with one business that has failed lead to regulations that hurt a business that is running on the up and up there is a problem. Your point about the bailouts is another prime example, I would have expected them from the democratic house and senate, but I would not have expected them from the Republican side. In terms of the failure of the Banking industry, the problem was not a LACK of regulation, the problem was the regulation and the wrong regulations. Banks were being required to hand out loans that they would not have otherwise handed out bacause many government parties, largely on the Democratic side beleived they were "helping the little guy" by forcing banks to loan to little guys who didn't really qualify for the loans. Auto makers on the otherhand have largely been done in by unions and a period or poor wormanship that earned them a bad name. I thing that the work has recovered, but the names are still lagging. There is a lot of work to be done, but I still hold that every time the government gets into business, they hurt that business. When businesses get hurt, so do their employees. Complain all you want about the people on top of abusiness earing more that the people who work for it, businesses areen't just handed out, they are built out of hard work and risk. If we take the reward out of building a great business, we will prevent those businesses from being made and we hurt our economy.
30 Nov 08
Thank you for your contribution sin-nis - No I don't live under a rock, I live on a rock, the UK, which has not to my knowledge been under a republican administration since the roundheads... The term you were looking for is laissez-faire, and I guess that compared to a dictatorship or the feudal systems which preceded our modern governmental set-ups, then certainly that is what we have. I'm not sure that I should have to explain government hand-outs to banks as that is one of the things that I am complaining about. When you think about it, of course businesses should run by themselves otherwise by definition they are not a business. Your arguments come a little too fast and appear to stumble over themselves, but from what I can make out you favour a non-caplitalist society which is a view fair enough, however a caplitalist society is exactly what we have. So in the light of your argument, can I redefine and add 'assuming we remain as a market economy'. Your model presumes a tightly controlled economy which we don't have - would you agree then that socialist measures should be resticted to a tightly controlled socialist economy, or do you think they will work equally well in a market economy?
29 Nov 08
The fact that you still believe that the "Western World" runs "Free Markets" after all the government interference and socialist bailouts is testament to how affective your politicians really are. Say what you will about American leadership and the American corporate system, but they are marketing geniuses. American leadership is feeding their citizenry crap and they have convinced the majority that it's ice cream. Here is a wonderfully pertinent quote that is usually applied to investing: Go for a business that any idiot can run - because sooner or later, any idiot probably is going to run it. Peter Lynch If you insist on democracy as the system of choice, then you better keep things simple. People don't get a "next life". We pass our problems onto future generations. If we act irresponsibly, then we hinder our progeny and force them into a life of servitude.
1 Dec 08
We do run free markets however we have governments that like to 'tinker' and in my opinion do immeasurably more harm than good - basically because they are politicians, not economic guru's. My point being that their so called 'strong' actions are completely ineffective because the market is bigger than the party (whichever one you choose to name). I say nothing about the American leadership since I am British and my only concern is that our government seems determined to follow economic paths set out in Washington. I also have no problem believing that politicians are marketing men which is where my question stems from. One or two other points then, I don't and never have insisted on democracy, but it so happens we live in (the vague likeness of) one. Also my point was that it was immoral of politicians to make costly decisions to be paid for in the 'next life' ie. they don't pay because there is no next life, it is the people that always pick up the tab (my irony was lost somewhere over the Atlantic no doubt...). I believe that the economic bailout could well be the biggest act of irresponsibility the world has ever seen and we may well in fact be forced into a life of servitude.
• United States
28 Nov 08
Personally I disagree with you, because I believe that a certain amount of regulation of the economy is necessary. During the Great Depression, part of FDR's new deal was a set of banking regulations that were set up to prevent banks from taking high risks, among other things. This means slower growth but less likelihood of collapse. The regulations expired in the early 1990s and now, look at the mess we're in.
30 Nov 08
That was nearly eighty years ago when politics was not the beast that it has become. I agree that government in it's finest hours has brought in some extraordinary good measures such as the National Health Service in the UK. I do not believe however, that the modern breed of career politician could have even dreamed of introducing such revolutionary measures unless they can see it as a way merely of getting re-elected.