Wednesday, December 12, 2012
In a column titled "Government Gone Bad", John Stossel richly illustrates the formidable task he faces as a pro-capitalist journalist. He boils it down as follows:
In my town, unions and civil rights groups demand a higher minimum wage. That sounds good to people. Everyone will get a raise!This problem acts synergistically with cultural inertia, in the form of unquestioned assumptions, such as the idea that the government is in the problem-solving business, and that, consequently, the measure of a true statesman is how many new laws he passed. Stossel could have mined that vein further and deeper. However, we are at such a low state of general political awareness that even making more people question just that assumption would be a significant improvement.
The problem is in what is not seen. I can interview the guy who got a raise. I can't interview workers who are never offered jobs because the minimum wage or high union pay scales "protected" those jobs out of existence.
The benefit of government leaving us alone is rarely intuitive. [bold added]