Friday, February 20, 2009

A Juggernaut of Destruction (George F. Smith)

George F. Smith wrote a nice article on the state and the dangerous weapon of inflation:

Nature is stingy; the things we need to sustain life above a primitive level are scarce. Fresh tomatoes, iPods, and rotator cuff surgery do not come forth as easily as the air we breathe, and thus man had to discover on his own how to produce or acquire them.

Economics is the discipline that supposedly sheds light on this process. As Rothbard tells us, “It deals in general with the action of men to satisfy their desires,” focusing on the exchange of goods as the means by which this is accomplished. A social organization based on the inviolability of private property fosters the best outcomes for all its members. Yet, it would be next to impossible to find an economist who would agree with this view, in part because most of them are on the state’s payroll.

The idea of protecting lives and property is thought by some to provide a justification for the state and for acceding to its claim of a legal monopoly on force within its territorial area. The state, though, has never shown much interest in preserving the liberty of its citizens. Especially today, the state sees them as objects to plunder and sacrifice, with the usual exceptions made for the well-connected. Witness the state’s plundering soul come into naked focus in the way politicians lick their chops over the prospect of taxing internet sales.

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