Robert Ringer is a New York Times No. 1 best-selling author and host of the highly acclaimed "Liberty Education Interview Series," which features interviews with top political, economic and social leaders. His latest book is "The Entrepreneur." To sign up for a free subscription to his pro-liberty, pro-free-market e-letter, A Voice of Sanity, CLICK HERE.More ↓Less ↑
Let me say right off that I believe Glenn Beck might just be the most naturally talented television commentator of our time. He’s bright, glib and humorous. He’s also gracious and polite (even to liberals) and pays no heed to the PC virus.
Beck is truth personified, baring his pot-holed past on national television for all to see and hear. His openness about his divorce, alcoholism and drug addiction is disarming to the point that you want to pinch him on the cheek and tell him how proud you are of him.
And just when you start to believe that he’s a born-again Boy Scout, he does something totally outrageous and demonstrates that, at heart, he really is just a “rodeo clown” (as he puts it). I find it all to be irresistibly charming and disarming.
But, alas, even Glenn Beck isn’t perfect. Though he is consistent 99 percent of the time, every now and then he blurts out something that causes me to do a double take. The faux pas that bothers me most – one that he repeats all too often – is: “What I want to know is, when are these guys (in Congress) going to stop bickering and actually ‘get something done’?”
Libertarian message to Glenn: No, no, no! Stop thinking that it’s a good thing if government actually does something. Government action has brought us Social Security, Medicare, the U.S. Department of Education, student loan programs, affirmative action and every kind of obscene welfare program imaginable.
Never mind that none of the above are sanctioned by the U.S. Constitution. The sad reality is that the absolute power of the state has succeeded in corrupting the Constitution. Or perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that it has overridden the Constitution.
But worse than all of the above intrusions is the widely accepted notion that the president and Congress not only have the power, but the ability and moral authority, to “get the economy moving” and “create jobs.”
In truth, of course, no president or any other politician can do anything to positively affect the economy other than doing everything in his/her power to get the government out of the economy. As for creating jobs, the only way any politician can create a job is to take one away from someone else, either directly or indirectly.
By indirectly, I’m referring to the fact that government-created jobs take money out of the economy and thereby cause other people to become unemployed. Government-created jobs are a result of government force, and force always interferes with the smooth workings of the marketplace. Since all government actions involve force – or, put more delicately, the threat of force – government can move the economy in only one direction: backwards.
Interestingly, third-world countries that are scurrying to get in on the now-unstoppable globalization of capitalism understand these realities better than do pampered Western countries. China and India have gladly jumped into the free-market void created by socialist America and Europe.
The truth be known, Bill Gates has probably created more legitimate jobs than all U.S. presidents in history combined. In fact, if you own a hot dog stand, you have probably created more legitimate jobs than all U.S. presidents combined.
How far man has advanced over the millennia is not a reflection of his true potential; it is his true potential minus government interference. The idea that a president or Congress can affect the economy in a positive way is ludicrous on its face – which leads one to wonder why the average person clings so stubbornly to such a nonsensical belief.
French philosopher Michel Montaigne summed it up well when he said, “Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.” Since very few laymen have even a marginal understanding of macroeconomics (and some would argue that the same is true of professional economists), they are ripe to believe almost anything – especially if it sounds like it’s going to put their neighbors’ dollars in their pockets.
If politicians insist on “doing something,” a novel project for them would be to focus on protecting the lives and property of U.S. citizens. Everything and anything else they do is a violation of every citizen’s natural rights.
So, Glenn, my superbly talented friend, remember this well: The only good government is a gridlocked government. Now that you have a nightly forum, please be careful what you wish for, or you may just get it – for all of us.