Monday, June 28, 2010

America’s Compulsory Dependence on Government

Scott Lazarowitz
LewRockwell.com -

America will soon be celebrating Independence Day, a reminder of how the American Founders became independent from British rule and unshackled their serfdom. But given the U.S. government’s growth in its size and intrusiveness, just how independent are Americans now?

When Friedrich Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom, I don’t think that Hayek considered that government’s monopolies could lead a citizenry into serfdom. But it may be that the government’s monopolies of territorial protection and monetary production have been paving that road to serfdom, as they have been also causing widespread economic turmoil and less security.

Whether the government-monopolized production of money is constitutionally mandated or not, the assumption that only the State should control the commodity of money – a universal means of trade and commerce – needs to be questioned. And so far, I have not heard a reasonable explanation of why Americans must be forced to be dependent on only the government’s provision of security without competition.

The original intent of the American Founders was for the federal government to be limited in its size, scope and power. Except for Alexander Hamilton most notably, most of the Founders opposed the use of paper money and government monopolized central banks. And the Founders by and large opposed "foreign entanglements" and imperialistic expansion of the U.S. government on foreign lands.

By default, governmental actions will have the reverse effect of what their proponents intend, in domestic and foreign affairs. This is because of the government’s legally protected monopoly that restricts participation of competitive agents. Monopolists lack incentive and market prices to make sound long-term decisions. In modern America’s immediate gratification culture, government bureaucrats’ decisions are guided by short-sightedness.

By default, when there are problems as a result of intrusive governmental actions, rather than recognizing the real causes of the problems, the typical solutions have been to do more of what has caused the problems.