Thursday, January 05, 2006

Abramoff scandal

The Abramoff scandal is hardly worth bloging about except that it points out the inherent corruption of a mixed economy. Jack Abramoff would not exist in a laissez-faire capitalist economy. The government of such a society cannot dispense favors to some while denying them to others. It would not be allowed to interfere in the economy at all.

But a regulated economy is one in which congress is up for sale. Regulators hold power over business. Businesses try to influence regulators and legislators in their favor. Some businesses want legislation to restrict competition. Pretty soon everybody wants some kind of favor and the next thing you know everyone has their own lobbyist or belongs to a group that has lobbyists. If there were no corruption in society at all, a regulated economy would create it. Philosopher Ayn Rand wrote an excellent essay on this called "The Pull Peddlers" in her book "Capitalism The Unkown Ideal." (For more info go here)

That is what Abramoff is, a pull peddler. He sold his friendship with some people to other people. A controlled economy will always deteriorate into a nation of men and not of laws.

If one were to suppose Abramoff were the only one doing this, one would be seriously kidding oneself. But there is no fix other than getting the government out of the control business.

No comments: