Is America’s painfully slow reopening cause for optimism? Will America eventually return to the prosperity it enjoyed in 2019—a year when monthly unemployment rates hit lows last seen in 1969? Will those who imposed an economic contraction across the world in 2020 admit their ruinous errors and vow to never repeat them? Or will the pretentious parasites pat themselves on the back, cheered on by the electorate host who will undoubtedly reelect them?
To say that the misery of the past 15 months can’t be repeated brings new meaning to “wishful thinking.” “Willful ignorance” seems more appropriate but insufficient still. Peter Hitchens, James Bovard, and Michael Malice have continually reminded the open-minded that a once-free, now-spoiled people not only take their liberty for granted, they will happily sacrifice it for the illusion of safety. The past 15 months have revealed nothing to prove them wrong, and when you combine that sad fact with another—that the parasites’ capacity has not been diminished—we have every reason to expect lockdowns to be commonplace in the future, including this reason: the wrong people did not suffer from current lockdowns.
John Tamny often makes the point that a recession can be cause for optimism because it signals that a genuine recovery now has a path on which to proceed. “But why not skip the recession and just keep growing?” Because markets aren’t perfect. A recession has a cleansing effect on markets, reallocating capital to its most efficient uses. Yesterday’s wise investment might appear foolish today. Because economies are people, it’s not unreasonable to portray the economy as one fallible human, like a drug addict. An addict can’t recover while high, right? Same goes for the economy. The implication, then, is that if non-market actors do not interfere with a recession and allow it to progress, then it will likely be deeper but shorter.
When the government bails out companies—weakens a recession—it harms everyone twice: it profligately spends children’s future earnings on bankrupt companies that, if free to fail, would have better served more people.
It’s like walking into a forest and righting a dead tree with frayed shoelaces—depriving food from fungi on the forest floor—and when the laces snap and the dead tree falls again, it crushes more organisms on the ground that the government had never considered. Stock markets have more than recovered from the surprise response to the 2020 flu, but the same can’t be said for countless, arrogantly deemed “nonessential” businesses. Why? Because the government’s lethal combination of hubris and ineptitude, though no match for worldwide markets, is too deadly a disease for brick-bound businesses. Just as economies are people, so too are governments. Can any thinking person doubt that the government needs its own great reset? Isn’t it well past time for governments to experience a recession?
In The Rise and Decline of Nations, Mancur Olson argued that “with the passage of time, a stable regime suffers increasingly from ‘sclerosis’ as more and more small groups organize and lobby successfully for government actions that serve their narrow interests but diminish the efficiency and dynamism of the overall economy.” Sounds like a powerful portrayal of the clogged toilets that exist as our governments today, but the book was published in 1982! This is why it’s laughable and borderline infuriating to hear appeals to “good,” “small,” or “smart” government, the Constitution, democracy, House and Senate parasites, dead Founders and Framers, or to the robed Supremes in the parasites’ chambers. Emotional attachment to legislation, dead people, and sclerotic monopolies will not spur them to rescue the country. That those institutions failed has less to do with their inherent flaws than with the fact that they’re incompatible with human nature, which follows “the natural law of parsimony (the most gain for the least effort).”
The parasites aren’t going to wake up one day and think, “You know, I should quit; it’s wrong that my salary is derived from those I govern without their consent.” They must be fired, not replaced, but what parasite would do that to its own kind? Politics cannot perfect human nature, but it sure does poison it. Do you recall any large corporation loudly protesting the arbitrary and cruel demise of their “competition,” or did they watch the destruction with sociopathic indifference? Similarly, the parasites stoically watched their neighbors implode and even encouraged them to turn on each other. What will rid the government of its systemic sclerosis? A cleansing crisis.
Olson’s book explains, “Only a crisis that destroys the political efficacy of the previously entrenched lobbies and clears the political decks can restore the economy’s vitality.” A new bad flu won’t do. Olson showed that though Germany and Japan were defeated and utterly destroyed in World War II, their recoveries were far more robust than those of post-war America and Great Britain. No, I’m not hoping to submit to the victors of a total war. If the parasitic class were to suffer a total economic collapse—a very “hard landing”—might that serve as the catalyst for a revival of liberty and personal responsibility? Debt repudiation would bring about the collapse.
Murray Rothbard explained why repudiating the entire national debt is, in fact, the moral option:
After America repudiates the debt, no one would consider lending to our governments, leaving them with only one choice: liquidate “its” assets to pay the parasites’ salaries or lay off large swaths of the “public” sector. Both would likely occur. Parasites won’t change their behavior; that needs to be changed for them. Until the government has its own recession, expect our trampled liberty to be further reduced.
This article originally appeared on Uncle Nap.