Saturday, August 15, 2009

William Mostow makes a controversial statement about rubbing dirt into wounds, long before results can be seen

Here's William Mostow, in the September issue of Liberty magazine:

It's interesting to see the political correctness with which free-market advocates respond to current statist interventions in the American economy. Even on talk radio and Fox, commentators express reservations about the stimulus plan and the government takeover of various industries but then indicate that time will tell whether any of these plans will work. Our president's intelligence is invariably mentioned as a preface to any criticisms of his policies.

If a patient were to tell me that he had been advised to rub dirt into a fresh wound, as a physician, my response would not be, "Well, I come from a different school of thought on wound care, so I'm pessimistic about the outcome of your treatment. But I guess we'll find out in a few weeks whether I'm right." Rather, I'd say, "All science and experience on the subject indicates that rubbing dirt in your wound is foolish, and bound to make your condition worse." So why aren't the same standards applied to economic arguments when the evidence is just as powerful?

Too many people see the present debate as one conducted among experts from different schools of thought. It is the obligation of anyone possessing any knowledge of classical economics to unequivocally describe our policymakers as either fools or charlatans, and their intellectual backers in academia and the media as quacks.

Well, we'll see. Time will tell. It's obviously too early to see if printing money to pass out to supporters is going to be effective or not.
Just because all the other government interventions have been boondoggles and financial disasters doesn't mean this one has to be. I mean, if you found some dirt that someone had thrown penicillin and Neosporin into, that dirt could help a wound, couldn't it? It really could happen.

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