Happy in Dependence Day
100 years from now, our great grandchildren will be sitting in obselete classrooms, barely paying attention (some things will never change), as their teachers retell stories about the Robber Barons of the Computer Age. It will be said that back in the bad old days of the "free market" - circa 2012 - the computer industry was dominated by a few greedy capitalists. Computers, they will say, were toys of the rich. The poor had to pay high prices for poor quality. Many didn't have computers at all! To support these assertions, statistics will be presented showing the disparity between the performance of high-end computers and low-end "bargains", computers per capita now and then, and computer sales as a percentage of GDP over the preceeding century. Thankfully, the teachers will add, the government stepped in and saved the poor, providing inexpensive, quality computers for everyone.
We can imagine that in a few classrooms in our crumbling 2112 American empire, there will be lonely voices of dissent. Beside his dreary eyed counterparts, a student will object, audaciously pointing out that the computer industry hasn't made very much progress in the last 100 years. Furthermore, he'll make the outrageous claim that even the worst performing computers of the "free market" era were faster and less expensive than those the government came to produce.
His fellow students will wipe the cobwebs from their eyes long enough to project vile stares in his direction. 'What nonsense...,' they will think. 'Only a fool can think that private citizens can make something as complex as computers better than the government!'
The obtuse student's teacher, barely managing to hide her hostility, will say to the young man, "Tell me, who will build all of these computers if the government doesn't make them?"
"I don't know," he will say, "but someone will...."
Who Will Build Them
If this look into America's future seems far fetched to you, spend five minutes attempting to discuss personal responsibility with a modern day statist. It won't take long for one to chime in "but who will build the roads?" This meme is so common, Internet libertarians have turned it into a joke, repeating the phrase like zombies whenever a friend makes a strong point about the dangers of government. “Roooooaaaaads..... Who will build the roooaaads.....” asks the zombie statist.
I don't know. Someone will. Just like they did before the government. Just like they do now when government fails. Just like they do when government isn't pointing a gun to their head telling them they can't build them.
Just as the market used to provide medical care, long ago, before the government interventions escalated, creating a “need” for more intervention. Obamacare is just another step on the road to full blown nationalized health care, now cheered for by dithering unstudious idiots that cannot comprehed the past 100 years of government interference in market provided care. “Greeeeeeeed... Greeedyyyy insurance companies...” says the zombie statist.
And so it is with every industry of which I have studied. Private individuals create a service. Government, under the guise of helping the poor and usually at the behest of a few crony business partners, takes over/cartelizes/monopolizes the industry, blocks competition, creates chaos, and eventually sends the truth of the free market era down the Memory Hole. Enough generations pass and no one will even know that back in the bad old days of “greed run amock”, more people had access to a higher quality service than they do now. No one will ever remember that it was the cronies that we are taught to hate, that actually led the call for government intervention.
History is written by the victorious.
And anyone foolish enough to question it must hate the poor.
This is how permanent bondage to the State is made.
The only path to true independence is an outright rejection of the State. I reject every utterance of the State, feeling quite comfortable that 99.9% of it is either lies or bad advice. Today, I'll fry up a 1/2 lb of bacon and a few eggs, all cooked in wondeful farm fresh butter. It's healthier than a plate of disgusting, indegistible whole grains (State food) and it tastes better to boot. Then I'm going to log into work since I don't have any need to celebrate these goofy State holidays. Maybe I'll watch a baseball game – the ultimate pastoral American experience – and flip my middle finger at the TV during the 7th inning State worshipping festivities.
Have a great Dependence day!
David in Liberty
Follow me on Twitter