by Scott Lazarowitz – Original title “Tear Down That Wall of Central Planning’s Prison State”
(Reprinted from LewRockwell.com with permission)
It appears that ex-Soviet ruler Mikhail Gorbachev has come out of the woodwork again. This time Gorby treats us with more “global governance” nonsense, calling for more centralization of power and more central planning. But more central planning means more imprisonment of the people by the State. Contrary to Gorbachev’s fantasy of world communism/fascism, what we need is more freedom!
When Ronald Reagan called out, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” the wall might as well have referred to the U.S. government’s imprisonment of the American people via the police state, regulatory intrusions and government’s always-increasing confiscation of private wealth. But the reality is that we need to go the other way, away from central planning and toward decentralization.
On the talk shows and in the news, and on YouTube videos and in public forums, there is an epidemic in America of denial and fantasy. Each election cycle, we have statist candidate A vs. statist candidate B, especially with the national elections, and there do not seem to be any candidates or voters who are willing to face the music and deal with the reality of the inherent destructiveness of central planning.
The denial amongst the American population in particular is characterized by people who know their candidates have a questionable background or record, openly engage in doubletalk and/or outright lies, and who just do not understand what actual liberty is. Yet the people support these candidates anyway, still hoping that the candidate of their choosing will get a clue after being elected and make the appropriate changes for better governance.
Deep down, those unrealistically hopeful voters know full well that such candidates will not be any better than the office-holders they replaced. The entire process has been a continually-degrading rearranging of deck chairs.
Central planning statism is a system that is doomed to fail, doomed to kill economic growth and doomed to destroy a society, right from the get-go. Just look at the Soviet Union, the European Union, and, of course, our United States. But when voting, the people look the other way, hold their noses and hope for the best.
Such denial over many decades has led to the crash of the American (and world) economy, the destruction of the work ethic and a nearly full shutdown of productivity. Contrary to what the populist pundits and the Occupy Wall Street crowd have been asserting, the situation we are now facing was not mainly because of the irresponsible actions of banks and other financial institutions, but by, as Doug Casey pointed out, the U.S. government (and its pathologically incompetent central planners). The crisis has been a direct result of the government bureaucrats in charge, including Alan Greenspan, Barney Frank, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and, especially more recently, Ben Bernanke. The irresponsible actions of the banks and financial institutions were enabled by the decisions and recklessness of those government hacks.
In addition to the price-fixing, fiat-money-printing, economy-busting Federal Reserve and banking policies, the Washington hacks destroyed America’s growth and progress with their police-state regulations, mandates and taxes, and other intrusions that have done nothing but stifle the incentive of businesses to invest and take risks with capital, expand their businesses and create real jobs. Besides the Fed policies’ subsequent price inflation, Washington has thus stimulated unemployment, and even pushed many American businesses to move overseas.
Ron Paul has proposed to drastically reduce the size and powers of the federal government, cut out entire departments and agencies, and reduce taxes. Additionally, Dr. Paul has said he wants to gradually wean Americans off Social Security and Medicare, and eventually end or privatize Social Security, if he “can get the people to agree and the Congress to agree.” The reality is that you’re just not going to get political hacks who are symbiotically enmeshed with that statist agency of aggression and criminality, the U.S. federal government, to agree to reduce their power and control over then people.
Once you recognize that the government’s central planning intrusions are immoral violations of the people’s lives and liberty, then you must get rid of those intrusions, for both moral and practical reasons.
For example, ending Social Security and other programs immediately is actually better than gradual withdrawal. But at the same time, the government thefts and trespasses of the people via taxation and regulatory intrusions must also be ended.
Murray Rothbard addressed the question of gradual vs. immediate desocializing in the context of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rothbard stressed that phasing in freedom gradually would do more harm than an immediate withdrawal of statist intrusions. During the Soviet collapse, Gorbachev was the ever-devoted, clinging communist, as economist Yuri Maltzev noted.
Many people think that such an immediate ending of those government programs, on which so many are unfortunately dependent, would be too “painful.” But our current situation has been causing a lot of pain, and will continue to cause more pain as long as the centralized structure remains in place.
When that Berlin Wall came down and those formerly enslaved captives of the Eastern Bloc were given their freedom back, they did not seem to be in much pain. (See here.) When Americans have been made slaves of their government, forced to work for four or five months until Tax Freedom Day, and when American businesspeople are restrained by nonsensical reactionary regulations passed by imbeciles in Washington, enforced by the State’s S.W.A.T. team raids, and when the people are forced at gunpoint to participate in a government-run retirement scheme while the government Ponzis siphon away the people’s IRAs and life savings, tearing down that damn wall immediately will not be too painful.
With immediate decentralization and restoration of our freedom, businesses would expand and invest in other enterprises, and real jobs would be created. Unemployment rates would crash. Millions of people would be free to keep what they earn and then be able to afford to care for their elderly family members once again.