America has an Economic Virus

by | Jan 25, 2022 |

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America is sick. Economically sick. Carmakers can’t get chips. Hospitals can’t get Covid test kits. The hotel I’m staying in can’t get soap for guest rooms. Soap, for crying out loud! Soap is not a high-tech product. Americans have known how to make soap since colonial days.

America is sick from a highly contagious virus. No, I don’t mean Covid. America has an economic virus. The name of the economic virus is government. Growing government control and interference with the free market is like cancer growing and interfering with the normal healthy functioning of your body. The bigger a cancer gets, the sicker your body gets. The bigger government gets and the more it intervenes, the sicker the economy gets.  

I have the cure for this economic virus. I didn’t invent it. It’s called the free market. Free as in free from government meddling. In his book The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith first described the free market in 1776, the same year the United States was created based on free-market principles.

Whenever the government says, it wants to “help,” watch out! The problem is going to get worse. Why? Because government is meddling where it doesn’t belong. Because government is meddling where it has no expertise. Because government meddling imposes top-down “solutions” that are not based on free-market supply and demand. It always backfires.

Case in point: Covid “relief” money that pays people to stay home. As I pointed out in last week’s column, “How to Screw Up a Good Economy in Record Time,” paying people to do nothing means you get nothing. No products, no services. Result? Shortages! Why? Because you are paying people to stay home! Duh! 

Rx for America: Reduce, Remove, Roll-back.

Reduce what? Government spending. Government deficit spending is the cause of inflation. Imagine that I have $100 in the bank. I write you a check for $100, and you cash it. Then I write five other people checks for $200 each. The five others found out that I only had $100 in the bank, and now it is gone. They convinced other people to accept my $200 check (endorsed to them) for $100 worth of goods. A $200 check for $100 worth of goods? That’s inflation. Why? Because my check can’t be cashed at the bank.

Similarly, we can’t redeem US currency for gold anymore at the Bank of the United States, so we keep using more and more of it as Biden prints his Biden Bucks: free money! Free money that rapidly inflates. Inflation in 1930s Weimar Germany led to a wheelbarrow full of paper money required to buy one loaf of bread. 

Remove what? Government Regulations. Many government regulations go beyond what is needed for health and safety. Case in point from my December column: extra-restrictive California truck emissions regulations prevent over half of America’s trucks from entering California ports to haul container cargo. Result? Cargo containers piled high, and full cargo ships anchored in port waiting to unload. Result to you and me? Shortages of goods. Like soap.

Roll-back what? Size of Government. Government makes nothing. Like a cancer that grows to consume all of your body’s resources, the growing government will eventually consume all of our nation’s resources. 

Government only has three legitimate functions: 1. Protecting citizens from foreign invaders. Armed Forces. 2. Protecting citizens from domestic criminals. Police. 3. Adjudicating disputes between citizens. Courts.

Whenever government goes beyond these three functions, it screws up our lives and our economy (which our lives depend on). 

How can you help? Stop asking the government for help!

Stop asking the government to do something! The more the government does, the more they screw up the economy. In Gerald Seib’s January 18 Capital Journal column in The Wall Street Journal, he reports Rep. Ro Khanna of California declaring, “Every day we [Congress] ought to be talking about what we can do to increase the supply, the goods….” WRONG! Government should not do something; it should remove something: itself. Remove government regulations that restrict the manufacturing and distribution of goods and services.

Instead, like John Galt, the hero of Ayn Rand’s prophetic 1957 free-market novel Atlas Shrugged, tell the government, “Get out of my way!”  

Instead, tell your congressperson and senator:

  1. Reduce government regulations and requirements to do business. Many businesses spend 20+% of their working hours meeting government regulations, filling out government paperwork, and spending time with government inspectors. This means their products cost 20% more, not because the product is worth 20% more, but because taking care of government regulations is a cost of doing business. You and I pay for this cost of doing business when we buy the product or service. 
  2. Remove all so-called “Covid Relief” money to businesses and individuals. This is the “government pays you to stay home” money. Staying at home instead of working is a major cause of shortages. When you work, you are making something that other Americans need. When you stay at home, you produce nothing. Result? Shortages.
  3. Roll back all government spending. This is the cause of inflation. The Federal government spends more than it gets in taxes. How can it do this? Legal counterfeiting. The Federal Reserve owns the printing presses for money. They just print it. If you or I tried this, we’d be in jail.

Does fiction ever become reality? Yes! I foretold the shortages caused by growing government control and coercion in my 2011 novel The Noah Option. Check it out on Amazon and Kindle. 

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy is a life-long student of liberty, limited government, and free-market economics. As a young man, he taught and crewed at the Flint School aboard the 156’ two-masted schooner Te Vega sailing in Europe. Atlas Shrugged was required reading.

In 2010 he saw the acceleration of big government control in politics, business, and culture. Hoping to reach the next generation through fiction entertainment, he wrote the prophetic novel The Noah Option. Powerful politicians target brilliant black scientist Dr. Grace Washington. Her story continues in the sequel, The Rainbow Option, when powerful elites unleash a deadly virus on unsuspecting Americans, and Grace must develop a cure. In The Timshel Option, ISIS invades and creates The New England Caliphate, making women second-class citizens. One teenage girl fights back.

"The things I predicted in my novels came true in the nightly news. Our country is in trouble. Like Abraham Lincoln, I hope for a new birth of freedom,” says McCarthy.

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Jack Bergeron
Jack Bergeron
3 months ago

Back to basics! Our United States Constitution gave very limited authority to the federal government. Not only do we need to reduce regulations (laws written by unelected bureaucrats), but we need to eliminate all the federal departments for which the feds have no Constitutional authority. We also need a Supreme Court that is ignorant of precedents, intelligent in the language the Constitution was written and uses that intelligence to make wise and timely decisions.

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