As the Western World seems to be spinning out of control financially, I keep reading in all sorts of places that “laissez-faire” economics has failed. What is up with that? I have not seen laissez-faire in my lifetime any place on the planet earth. Were do these people get this stuff? I read of one writer who even talked about the UK having a “laissez-faire” approach! My god, has someone re-defined the phrase and forgot to inform the public?
Here is one good definition of “laissez-faire”:
“Laissez-faire capitalism has a definite meaning, which is totally ignored, contradicted, and downright defiled by such statements as those quoted above. Laissez-faire capitalism is a politico-economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and in which the powers of the state are limited to the protection of the individual’s rights against the initiation of physical force. This protection applies to the initiation of physical force by other private individuals, by foreign governments, and, most importantly, by the individual’s own government.” ~ George Reisman
The reason that we keep hearing and reading “experts” claim that our troubles come from “laissez-faire” is that they want to destroy the credibility of having no government intervention into the market by way of using the failures of market-socialism and government intervention by fraudulently calling it “laissez-faire”. Under laissez-faire there is almost no role for government at all, and yet the modern western world from the USA to Greece has a command economy controlled by the various minions of the government. One can not even fix a person’s hair in America without a certificate of government approval!
Some have pointed out that the government in America is spending at least 40% of national income, but even that horrid figure does not tell the whole story. There are millions of federal, state, and local bureaucrats enforcing laws, making regulations, misusing laws and regs, and otherwise interfering with the voluntary private market to the point that the economy is crippled by their interference. There are thousands of federal, state, and local government agencies charged with making sure that citizens do not do anything voluntarily but rather follow commands from the government.
The Federal Register contains at least seventy-three thousand pages of detailed government regulations at the national level and this number increases by the day. The very idea of a Federal Register is incompatible with laissez-faire capitalism, and don’t forget that the states and local governments pile regulations, bearing the force of law, on top of the Federal Register regulations. On top of all that, we have a central bank which destroys any hope of a market based money supply that would happen with a gold standard money system. We are truly closer to the system of a police state than to laissez-faire capitalism.
The mainstream press is just lying when they claim that there has been any failure of a “laissez-faire” system in the west. We have no such system and have not had anything close to it for at least a century and a half. The press and the “experts” always claim that it is laissez-faire that is causing the problems and they denounce it at every opportunity. And of course they call for ever more regulation of the population to cure the ills caused by the massive regulations that have really caused the sickness in the first place.