Sobering thought of the day

Robert Higgs in the Claremont Review of Books:

The government’s actions to date do not portend a bright future for the overall economy, especially in the longer run, which policymakers are disregarding in their haste to bail out failing financial institutions. . . .

Heedless of what had created the debacle in the first place and fearful of its dire potential consequences, government officials intervened to bail out poorly managed banks and set in motion a partial nationalization of the banking and other industries. The government’s commitments for cash infusions, loans, and loan guarantees have already reached the astronomical total of nearly $8 trillion and more commitments seem likely to follow. . . .

With government deeply entrenched in banking and other financial businesses, the president and members of Congress will swarm as bees to honey to turn the government’s control in directions they consider favorable to their political prospects. In sum, the bailouts will almost certainly produce another turn of the ratchet toward permanently bigger government.

JOHN adds: I’m afraid that’s true. My great-grandparents had to come to America from Norway in search of opportunity. It may well be, sadly, that my children or grandchildren will have to emigrate to some other country to maximize their opportunities in life. This, I’m afraid, may be the permanent legacy of the Obama administration and the Democrats’ ascendancy in Washington. The Democrats would cut back on freedom world-wide, if they could. But they can’t. So, if they realize their statist dreams in this country, the next generation of Americans will vote with its feet, just as enterprising Europeans who valued freedom did, generations ago.

That won’t happen, though, without a fight, the magnitude of which the statists may not yet fully appreciate.

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