The Crisis Machine

By Richard H. Frank 

Barack Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said, “Never let a crisis go to waste”. That statement seems to have been the mantra from the White House and Congress for decades. Here is just a short list of crises that have arisen and “not been allowed to go to waste.”

  1. Government ban on pesticides (DDT).
  2. Welfare in the form of aid to dependant children.
  3. 1973 OPEC oil crisis.
  4. Curtailment of nuclear power producing facilities.
  5. Ever recurring flu pandemics – 1957 to 2009.
  6. Aids pandemic.
  7. Destruction of the ozone layer.
  8. Millennium computer crisis.
  9. Global cooling – the coming ice age.
  10. Global warming – destruction of the planet.
  11. Weapons of mass destruction.
  12. Financial institutions – too big to fail.
  13. Chrysler and General Motors bailouts – bankruptcies.
  14. Economic stimulus to curb the growth of unemployment.
  15. Housing / commercial real estate collapse.
  16.  Mortgage backed securities crash.
  17. Automotive emissions / fuel economy standards.
  18. Americas crumbling infrastructure.
  19. Green energy development.
  20. Health care crisis.

If this list looks familiar to you, then you are acutely aware of the unintended consequences that accompanied the legislation aimed to resolve these crises. Close examination of this list raises serious questions as to the constitutionality of much of the legislation passed to resolve the alleged issue.

John Stossel wrote in a 2008 article titled “the Next Crisis” that “Crisis is a friend of the State. The Politicians are desperate to be seen as “showing leadership”, so we’re surely in for a new round of government interventions”. How right he was. Now we are being told that if Congress and the Obama administration does not act to pass “Affordable Health Care Reform” and “Environmental Reform Legislation” (Cap and Trade) we will surely see the demise of the economic system in the U.S. and possibly the end of the world resulting from increased greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere.

Please give us a break! I believe these cures are more destructive than the problems they purport to prevent. The free market and free enterprise systems possess the ingenuity and expertise to resolve all of these issues without leaving a trail of corpses in the wake of their solutions while incurring debt that will be borne by generations to come.

Those of us old enough to have lived through the 1970’s recall, only too well, the period of economic stagnation, inflation, unemployment and the misery index attributed to the Carter Administration’s policies. It appears as though we are about to enter the same malaise but accompanied by government spending the likes of which is unparalleled in the history of this country.

Government must get out of the way and once again allow the free enterprise system to fuel our economic engine and return the country to prosperity. Crisis management is best done in the private sector, not by government intrusion and regulation. Stimulate business by reducing taxes, incentivizing investment and encouraging innovation through invention. OTHERWISE, STAY THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!

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