2012-01-13

Centralization of Power Is Not Small Government

Obama's recently announced intention to reorganize six trade offices is being reported as an effort to reduce the size of the federal government. I wonder how anyone could possibly believe that claim.

Condensing a number of federal departments will certainly cut short-term costs and eliminate ambiguities in governance. But establishing a cradle-to-grave subsidy system for American businesses analogues to the cradle-to-grave subsidy system that envelopes the general public can only spell greater government expenditures in the future, as the welfare system inevitably expands.

Socially, this sort of thing creates a general reliance on government. Slowly, as people become less familiar with the unhampered free market, they begin to view the subsidies they receive as a very real part of capitalism. (You can think of it as being along the lines of, "Keep your government hands off my Medicare.")

Economically, government market interference simply undermines the authority of consumers in the marketplace. Those products and services that would be most rewarded by consumer-generated profit in an unfettered market lose out to those products and services artificially supported by the taxpayer.

The result is fewer of the things we want (as measured by the things we choose to buy), and a greater number of the things we don't want (as measured by the things we do not choose to buy).

Mark today on your calendars as the day I predicted that this reorganization will further encroach on market freedoms and expand the prevalence of corporate welfare.