View from the right: The economy

Fellow Patriot Martin Fey is featured weekly, on Saturday, in the Norwich Bulletin.  Martin is an unabashed Tea Party Patriot.  Martin, you represent us well and thank you for your activism. 

Best quote from the article:  “Those legitimate powers don’t include choosing economic winners and losers, because government is neither a keen observer nor a neutral one.”


By Martin Fey Norwich Bulletin, Nov. 23, 2013   

For liberals, the economy is a pie with a finite number of pieces, and those pieces must be fairly apportioned by the government.

For free-market conservatives, it’s a buffet on a potentially ever-expanding table where the government’s role is to stop food fights.

Those divergent visions are ironic, because liberals always portray themselves as optimists while painting conservatives as eternal pessimists. But when it comes to the economy, the roles are quite the opposite.

Consider Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. What was it that changed in the two years that took us from persistent stagflation to an economic growth rate of almost 8 percent a year?

Carter, stymied by a stalled economy that defied his stimulus efforts, blamed the situation on a national “malaise.”

Morning in America

After his election, Reagan declared a new Morning in America” and, after a nasty dose of anti-inflation medicine, the sun did indeed rise and shine.

The difference was that Reagan attacked our economic problems on both the monetary and psychological fronts. He knew that the consumer mindset is even more important than the numbers economists like to crunch.

If consumers believe things are getting better, they will spend on credit.

If entrepreneurs think the time is right to launch a business, they will take out loans with all the attendant risks.

If investors think equities have reached bottom, they will pour money into them, providing crucial capital for business expansion.

Note to the president: That’s a real stimulus program.

The downside

When our leaders make false promises of coming prosperity — such as Joe Biden’s declaration of the 2010 “summer of recovery,” and the administration’s tinkering with the unemployment statistics before the 2012 election — a suspicious public holds onto what they have.

If money doesn’t circulate, the economy stays in the doldrums. Slow growth or no growth is a prescription for widespread poverty.

Reagan also correctly declared that government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem.

This isn’t to say we don’t need the government to serve as referee, safety net provider and the source of regulations that, in the best libertarian sense, protect the innocent from the selfish. But it needs to be kept on a short leash, and that means enforcing the Constitutional limits on its power.

Those legitimate powers don’t include choosing economic winners and losers, because government is neither a keen observer nor a neutral one. Worse, it has the power to “nudge” a reluctant public into economically inefficient directions by passing laws, issuing subsidies and creating scarcities.

Free markets automatically produce efficiency and fill real needs.

Government markets produce Solyndra and Obamacare.

Martin Fey, a member of the Quiet Corner Tea Party Patriots, can be reached at and is published weekly on Saturday in the Norwich Bulletin. 


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