I’m continually taken aback and appalled by government’s complete lack of understanding of markets and business in general. This is only exceeded by my shock and bewilderment of government’s misguided belief that they can grow an economy and create jobs. You hear it all the time from the Prime Minister, the Premiere and right down to our own mayor. At some point in these peoples’ lives they must have been taken aside and been told a most preposterous lie that politicians can positively affect an economy. The truth is simple: They can’t. Governments cannot grow economies or create employment. They can only steal money from one person and give it to another. It is only the private sector that can create an economy, grow an economy and create jobs. A government can no more create jobs than I can perform heart surgery. The difference is I know my limitations: Government has no clue about its limitations. I can’t perform heart surgery. Point of fact, government interference in economics is as dangerous as me entering the operating room with scalpel in hand.
In my first year in university I majored in biology. We studied the intricacies of ecosystems and how every bit of flora and fauna played a part in the success of an ecosystem. It was determined that ecosystems are so complex that we would likely never fully understand the interconnectedness of all of the factors involved. After studying economics and markets for the past couple of decades I am able to draw very similar parallels between ecosystems and truly free markets and the entrepreneurial spirit. Just like in an ecosystem, the free market is an absolute marvel. When a niche exists in a market, human ingenuity will fill that niche with people and companies that evolve to become exceptional in that field. It’s a brilliant thing. There is also another parallel to be drawn between wildlife management (a government entity) and government involvement in markets. They are both toxic to the system that they invade. We can be an arrogant species to think that we actually understand ecosystems so perfectly that we can manipulate variables and predict exact outcomes. For the most part, we don’t know what the heck we are doing. (i.e.; the mongoose in Hawaii, the wolf cull in British Columbia this year, countless examples of illuminating predators to protect prey which have ultimately backfired). Equally as arrogant is government and central banks that interfere with markets that they cannot possibly understand let alone provide benefit to. Further frustration about government involvement in markets is the lack of experience of those making the decisions. We see it all the time; one day a politician is the Minister of Health and the next day they are the Minister of Finance. Are you freaking kidding me?
The best thing to do in both ecosystems and truly free markets is to get out of the way. Both will find a balance far more advanced than either government or wildlife management could possibly fathom.
Just like ecosystems, markets will manage themselves brilliantly if government would just leave them alone.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.