One of the reasons I generally dread campaign season is because the last thing I want to do is get drawn into the mindless minutiae, tit-for-tat, small fry potato stuff that gets people distracted from $16 trillion dollars of debt. Luckily there are annual gatherings of Progressives, where people like Colin Mutchler or Jenifer Fernandez Ancona inadvertently make the case for conservatism.
Colin has been under fire for likening economic growth to “cancer,” but I think conservatives should really give Jennifer Fernandez Ancona a hand (an invisible hand?) for making the case for supply-side economics.
“The big insight was that on the conservative side when you really decode what they’re thinking the economy is and what they’re telling people it is, it’s a natural system, a natural force that is like beyond our control; it’s like the weather or ocean tide, it‘s like this force that we have to be afraid of that is basically taking it’s orders from God (laughs). So it’s like if you mess with it, you are, like, messing with the moral order of things.”
“The way that the left economists actually think about it is like a machine, or more specifically a vehicle. Like a thing that is supposed to take us to a destination. A thing that we built, that we actually know how it works. And we can tweak it, we can make it work for us. We know that it’s out of balance, or we know that the carburetor is broken, or whatever, I don’t know anything about cars. But, it’s like that. So we’re actually in charge of it, and we know that kind of instinctively.”
Actually, the economy is a lot like God — complex and beautiful, in many ways its intricacies are beyond human comprehension. The U.S. economy is the final result of hundreds of millions of individuals making billions of decisions each day. Each person has his own wants, needs and desires. Indeed, people are like machines, but each one isn’t the kind of lug nut liberals would have us believe, but an elegant machine with free will. And that free will has been frustrating central planners for ages, because it is a spark that can not be harnessed. The conservative knows this, and so he seeks to create an environment where the voluntary interactions of millions of individuals can take place largely unfettered. The result, in the aggregate, is usually something special.
By contrast, take a liberal like Jennifer. She likens the economy to a car. She admits she doesn’t know a thing about cars, but believes she and her friends should play mechanic with the economy. She says that this car is supposed to take us to a destination — but she has no idea where. Even the language she uses (i.e., “the carburetor is broken, or whatever,”) should tell the passing observer that these are not the people you want tinkering around with the “engine” of the economy.
Jennifer doesn’t know if she wants the economy to grow or shrink, and Colin Mutchler wants to go to the destination called “happiness.” If Jennifer wants her personal economy to shrink, she could always start by making really bad life decisions. If Colin wants happiness, limited government provides him with the most amount of choices with which to find it. We find happiness when we do what we love, and the free market is the best system ever created for putting people in a position to do just that. It’s not perfect, but it’s exponentially better than the centrally planned auto dealership for “carburetors” and “whatever” that Jennifer and her liberal friends want you to put faith in.
Now watch, as Milton Friedman tells you exactly who these people are, what they think of you and why you should shun their vision for the world.