Relying on Government?

December 8, 2008

State Representative Phil King

Why can’t government fix the economy? Well, to be honest, much of our economic woe is the fault of government. Ronald Reagan was right when he said that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” And after all, who does it make more sense to trust – the power of the individual, the strength of the family, the free enterprise system? Or should we put our trust in politicians, bureaucrats and government agencies to meet our needs and manage our lives?

Here’s an example: I hear often from sincere, caring people that government should create a universal health care system because health insurance is so terribly expensive. Well, they are right. Health insurance is way too expensive and we do want everyone to have access to affordable health care. But think where their reasoning takes us. Every Texan needs a good salary and house, too, and a car and child care and elder care and on and on and…. Yes, government can raise your taxes (a whole lot) and provide these staples but remember, that’s exactly what socialism is all about. Do we really want to emulate that economic model? It has been a miserable failure in every single instance.

Using government to collect taxes and then redistribute wealth has always promised, but never produced, prosperity. Instead, forced redistribution (which actually punishes success and rewards failure) has always accomplished just the opposite! It pulls the economy and personal wealth down for all. Do we really think socialism will work if we try it just one more time? Believing that reminds me of the clichéd definition of insanity – doing the same thing time and time again, yet expecting a different result.

Now, I’ll agree that the free market (capitalism) is far from perfect, but history has shown time and time again that it’s the best economic system man has found. The free market has its inequities and sometimes they are harsh but that’s where philanthropy and charity and most of all strong families can so wonderfully intervene. People will intervene, given the chance, although it is hard right now with government taking away so much of their money – about 40% for the average family.

Texas can never be a land of guarantees, only a land of opportunities. Government cannot ensure outcomes. Not everyone will succeed but many more will in a land of limited government where citizens are free to earn and accumulate wealth. There the invisible hand of a free market will keep the staples of life available and affordable. Big government isn’t the path to prosperity. Freedom and enterprise, that’s where you’ll find real hope and a lasting opportunity to succeed.