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May 24, 2022

The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition

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Calvin Coolidge knew it; Ronald Reagan knew it; Donald Trump knows it. Just get the hell out of the way, and people will produce and create and make things better. The only true function of government is to keep the next kingdom over the hill from taking our stuff!

Meir Kohn's "Commerce-Predation Theory" recognizes that, and also recognizes that government can be an impediment to internal commerce.

Gee...I wonder whether we can find an example of that!

Rethinking Economics: An Interview with Professor Meir Kohn

The simplified version of my theory is that economic progress is a result of the interaction between commerce and production, which I call the accelerator. However, the brake is predation. It is what holds economic progress back. Government is historically, and most often, the source of predation, but governments can also play a role in protecting against predation
The interview is with "The Dartmouth Review," which for all of its impressive pedigree often comes off as...um...a college newspaper. Which it is, but it is a conservative paper in the belly of the beast, so they deserve some credit.

Kohn's description of the evolution of the Chinese economy is fascinating, as is his recognition that government is often a malign influence that goes beyond monetary policy. Government is the enemy of commerce, and government bureaucrats have no reason to be the benign guides that they claim to be.

I suspect that the only thing you need to do to become a commercial region is to allow it to happen. It will happen eventually if you don’t prevent it, and the government is the one preventing it by predating and suppressing commerce.
But Kohn doesn't differentiate between peoples. Western European immigrants to North America created an incredible economy (and society), yet in vast swathes of the world with ample natural resources...there was nothing!

I wonder whether the understandable awareness of the existence of the jack-booted thugs of leftist counter-culture has limited this analysis.

That's my guess.


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posted by CBD at 11:00 AM

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