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Laissez faire in Washington? On what planet?

Sheldon Richman of the Foundation for Economic Education contributes analysis of the current economic situation in the article Government Failure. A few quotes:

Laissez faire in Washington? On what planet? Governments at all levels have regulated the financial industry from the time of the founding. …

At the Division of Labour blog, economist Lawrence H. White asks: “What deregulation have we had in the last decade? Please tell me.” …

What about greed? Here White also has something important to say: “If an unusually large number of airplanes crash during a given week, do you blame gravity? No. Greed, like gravity, is a constant. It can’t explain why the number of crashes is higher than usual.” Likewise, greed (however you define this essentially useless concept) can’t explain the current economic troubles. Why didn’t these troubles occur earlier? Were people less greedy then? …

What about irresponsibility? Now we are getting to the crux of the matter. There was irresponsibility — but only because the government for decades has pursued a policy of relieving big companies of the responsibility that otherwise would have been imposed by market discipline and competition. …

Good intentions count for nothing in this context. The laws of human action (praxeology) can’t be repealed or got around.

Praxeology. Ludwig von Mises has an explanation for everything, it seems.

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