How do You Like Your Economy?

By Mike Cronin

I’ve written previously about how our country is supposed to be a republic and not a democracy or an empire.  Similarly, our economy is supposed to be based on a free market and not centrally controlled. As with our political system, our economy has become mixed. It retains some free-market features, and it suffers under an ever-increasing burden of controls, regulations, and other government and central bank interference.

Why are controls bad? Because those who do the controlling cannot possibly know every way their actions will affect the market. Ignoring this simple fact brought the Soviet Union to ruin; acknowledging it has brought China a measure of prosperity. To understand how intricately complex the market is, consider the case of a simple pencil. It only has a few parts and some paint, yet it takes thousands, if not millions, of people using lots of other products and services in many other industries in order to make pencils and get them to stores.  Interference in any of those areas could affect pencil production, and interference in pencil production could set off a chain reaction into any of those areas. A mixed economy doesn’t just affect our wallets, it affects our morality. Ayn Rand explains it best:

“A mixed economy is rule by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies, all fighting to seize a momentary control of the legislative machinery, to extort some special privilege at one another’s expense by an act of government—i.e., by force. In the absence of individual rights, in the absence of any moral or legal principles, a mixed economy’s only hope to preserve its precarious semblance of order, to restrain the savage, desperately rapacious groups it itself has created, and to prevent the legalized plunder from running over into plain, unlegalized looting of all by all—is compromise; compromise on everything and in every realm—material, spiritual, intellectual—so that no group would step over the line by demanding too much and topple the whole rotted structure. If the game is to continue, nothing can be permitted to remain firm, solid, absolute, untouchable; everything (and everyone) has to be fluid, flexible, indeterminate, approximate. By what standard are anyone’s actions to be guided? By the expediency of any immediate moment. The only danger, to a mixed economy, is any not-to-be-compromised value, virtue, or idea. The only threat is any uncompromising person, group, or movement. The only enemy is integrity.” (

Sounds a lot like 2014 America, doesn’t it?