The Free Market Economy in the 21st Century
The Free Market Economy, which is based on supply and demand with very little government interference, is still the best engine to move our economy along at a rapid rate. There are a few issues that are different today than about 30 years ago, but not in any way that prevents the free market from thriving and being effective.
Government is interfering more and more, that hurts all by itself and it slows growth and progress. The Free Market can still move forward, but not as fast and strongly as it would without so much government interference.
Blue collar jobs used to provide long term stability for blue collar workers but they are fewer and less stable than before. Unskilled and semi-skilled jobs are harder to find and harder to keep. Robots and technology can and will do more work for less money and do not require benefits or retirement.
The global economy provides the opportunity for unskilled and semi-skilled jobs to move to remote parts of the world where labor is significantly cheaper. The cost of labor in the US has become so expensive that outsourcing and contracting work out to remote corners of the world are practical alternatives. Government regulations, minimum wage requirements and health benefits have caused the cost of doing business in the US to become so expensive that producing many things thousands of miles away and shipping material across an ocean is cheaper than producing them here at home.
Government spending is out of control and as more and more tax payers and voters realize and understand the consequences of this, the very small steps we’re taking right now to get spending under control will become bigger and bigger steps. Government spending will get tighter and tighter as time moves on. Government excesses and poor spending decisions will be highlighted and even Elected Empty Suits will have to back off. Spending for the sake of spending will slow down and eventually stop.
The Defense Department is spending billions on defense; politicians (AKA Elected Empty Suits) are pushing for some spending that the military doesn’t even want in order to buy the love and loyalty of tax payers and voters in their district. The Abrams tank that the Army doesn’t need or want is a clear example.
The Army feels more tanks wouldn’t help, they would rather spend that money elsewhere. Elected Empty Suits disagree; they want the money spent in their home districts no matter what. No one has actually said this in their own words, but their actions are screaming “I don’t care if you need the product or not, spend the money in my voter’s back yard; we need to artificially support their businesses and let them keep their jobs and let them keep collecting money that the government can’t afford to spend. Damn the consequences take care of the voters I need to convince to love me by spending money that doesn’t belong to me.”
There are so many flaws with this argument I’m not sure where to begin. Let’s start with the Army doesn’t want the tanks. The Army has lots of them and they are a tremendous military weapon and asset, but the Generals responsible for making the decisions have decided that money identified to make more tanks should go elsewhere. Elected Empty Suits disagree; they don’t care what the customer says, they want to build and charge the government for a product that is not needed or wanted.
I won’t argue if the question is they don’t want or need any more tanks, or if in tough budget times they have other needs with a higher priority than buying more tanks, but the Generals who are responsible for the military should have more say than the Elected Empty Suits. The money identified to build more tanks either should not get spent at all, or should be used for the purpose that the Generals think is more important.
The Elected Empty Suits are charged with appropriating the money and making it available for the military to use, not to insist on spending, what is not needed or wanted. That’s clearly a waste of the tax payers’ money especially when they’re looking to tax us even more.
If the question is do we buy more tanks and artificially prop up the tank manufacturer and suppliers to keep thousands of employees working who would be out of jobs otherwise, or even to keep us from losing facilities that could build tanks in the future if we shut them down now, it’s still a bad idea.
My opinion is, let the companies die and let the employees go out of work, let us lose the tank building facilities. That’s a better choice than taxing all of us to make poor spending decisions now. The Free Market should be free to do its magic. If the tank building company let itself be dependent on the tank orders from the military they should go out of business. To survive and thrive they must make themselves diverse enough to survive a loss of a government contract not dependent on them for survival.
When businesses, especially defense companies, want money spent to benefit their companies, Elected Empty Suits make the spending happen. That adds to the burden of all taxpayers. We are spending money we don’t have. We have to borrow a portion of every check the government issues.
What are the consequences of thousands of people in a few small communities going out of business at the same time? It wouldn’t be pretty, but if the only way to prevent it is to spend too much money on something that isn’t needed, then let the pain start now so we can overcome the pain quickly. Communities across this country have survived this before and will have to again, some individuals will move some will stay new businesses will come in and new jobs will be had. It may take ten or twenty years but the answer cannot be piling more bad spending decisions on already bad spending decisions.
The free market will balance things out. Profit is an exciting motivator, and it works every time it’s tried. When a profit can be made there will be one or more smart people who will want to make that profit.
What we can’t accept is Elected Empty Suits compelling spending that is not needed