by Walter Block, Lew Rockwell:
It is all the government’s fault. It is always the government’s fault. Pretty much every bad thing is the government’s fault.
The government mulcts almost half of the GDP if we count federal, state, county, and city taxes and fees. A significant proportion of these funds is then spent on further impoverishing the masses of our people with regulations, permits, licenses, compulsions, prohibitions and other requirements. As a result, our lives are much more miserable than otherwise would be the case.
For example, dread diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s might already have been solved if our wealth were a multiple of what it is now. Is there any guarantee that these maladies would have been banished from the human experience under such circumstances? Of course not. But it is extremely likely that in 200, or 300 or 400 years from now if we don’t blow ourselves up before then, that these medical scourges will be wrestled to the ground. Without government seizing vast portions of our treasure, with one of its hands, and preventing us from creating more with the other, we would at least be much closer in time to curing these horrid ailments. It is extremely likely that without government bollixing up the process, some of these diseases could be ended much sooner.
And then there are those lesser problems that beset us, thanks to the all-loving state. In New Orleans, where I live, we have Jazz Festival, Mardi Gras, and dozens of other such celebrations and gatherings. These events attract tens of thousands of people; no, hundreds of thousands. We are nothing if not Party City. And what happens all too often? Torrential rains, that is what occurs. This too is the government’s fault. Why? You’ll never guess, so I’ll tell you. It is because the statists reduce our ability to address this challenge. Were we very much richer, as we would be without the baleful influence of government, cloud seeding and other such techniques would be much further advanced than they are now. We could make it rain when we wanted a downpour to say, between 3 and 6am Monday through Thursday (hey, the revelers on Bourbon Street need good weather all night long), rather than when it wants to rain, all too often when we New Orleanians are busy partying.
I mentioned earlier the danger of us blowing ourselves up. Well, who do you think is most likely to do just that? Chess players? Athletes? Plumbers? Novelists? No, no, no. Get with the program, here. It will be governments that kill innocent people on a massive scale (read on this R. J. Rummel, Stephane Courtois et al, and Robert Conquest). All too much of the precious resources they commandeer from us go to (real) weapons of mass destruction.
One way to safeguard ourselves from such a calamity would be to move away from where governments are in control (and hope they don’t follow us!) And where would that be, pray tell? To the moon and Mars, of course, and then elsewhere in the universe, eventually. (I’m taking a rather long run view, here). What role has government played in this initiative? As my forthcoming book on space exploration and colonization will make clear, it has been negative, not positive, despite, or perhaps even because of, all our money they have thrown in this direction.
The same holds true for a plethora of minor and sometimes petty difficulties we all face. Bad breath. Tooth decay. Rotting sidewalks and humongous potholes in the streets (I don’t like to brag, but New Orleans must be a “leader” in this sort of thing). Sweating. Lousy lightbulbs. Pens that don’t work as well as they should. Air conditioners that fail when we need them most. Uncomfortable shoes. How can any of this possibly be laid at the door of government? It is simple. If they didn’t deplete almost half of our productivity, and make it excessively difficult for us to be economically creative … You get the point.
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