Europe is tottering on the brink and now the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland is spewing ash again. Flights across Europe are being canceled. Not helpful.
Of course, the challenges Europe faces are almost entirely a result of pursuing policies that the current American government would love to put in place here. Among them, the strengthening of labor unions, the massive expansion of jobs in the government sector, nanny-state regulation of virtually every realm of life, and daunting regulatory disincentives for hiring new employees.
All it takes is a couple of generations of cradle-to-grave government “security” promises to produce a population that will riot when the day of reckoning finally comes. It has come to Greece. It’s right around the corner for Portugal, Spain and Britain. A populace that has swallowed the lie that the government can and should control everything from the price of food to the wages ditch diggers and doctors deserve to receive is a mob that will turn ugly when market forces do what they inevitably and invariably do.
There are still plenty of folks in this country who claim we need to emulate the policies of the European nations. And they do so with a straight face. And so talk among liberals and Democrats of adding a VAT tax to our system of individual and corporate income taxes grows.
This oil spill off of Louisiana is a big deal. In any time or any context it would be a tragedy–both environmental and economic. But in this particular time and context–a fragile, reeling economy and the most inept and misguided national leadership since Jimmy Carter and Tip O’Neil were running the show in Washington–it is potentially devastating. It is therefore a near certainty that the government will learn all the wrong lessons and prescribe solutions with negative unforeseen consequences.
Here The Pragmatic Capitalist offers “Ten Reasons to Worry.” I prefer to think of them as ten reasons to be glad I’m a Christian, in Texas, and out of the market.