Free Market Maxims: An Obese Government Is Not the Answer

by: Muizz Kheraj

As the current economic crisis has sunk in and many of us have begun to accept that recovery from this massive downturn will not be as quick as any of us would like, we have begun to question the most basic of economic principles, what I call Free Market Maxims. As the current crisis is dealt with, let us recognize that the responses are those that are most appropriate during a crisis – not to replace basic economic norms, but simply to deal with a massive economic downturn of a magnitude not seen in three generations.

I have great respect for the intelligent strategies and suggestions put forth by our current administration. President Obama is clearly well-educated and articulate and his team seems to be of similar caliber. They have come into the Office of the Presidency under a great cloud of fear and destruction, where the failures of many, on both sides of the aisle – LEFT and RIGHT, as well as the complicit inaction of all of us have led to a dire economic climate. And they are responding as vigorously and as thoughtfully as they are able.

Short-term, I believe they cannot help but reinvigorate what has become an economy-in-retreat, and a consumer in hibernation. But I cannot imagine how successful their actions will be if, as they respond, they build rhetoric that continues to convince the American public and the world that the answer to our problems and our challenges is a permanently obese Government with all the answers and all the solutions.

Democrats have been and remain the worst violators, but the Bush administration exacerbated this nonsense with a ballooning deficit over the last eight years and ultra-orthodox policies that intruded in our private lives but ignored the public crimes that have led to our current crisis.

Government is not the answer – it is responsible to protect people’s rights, and provide safety nets (not safety hammocks) when people stumble. People are the answer, and providing the right incentives, the right infrastructure and the right access to resources and tools is the best way for governments to enable a climate of self-sustaining growth.

This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue about basic economic principles and not allowing ourselves to throw the baby out with the bathwater.