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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Laissez-Faire Capitalism is a Unicorn

Everyone goes on about how chimerical socialism is. The defenders of socialism always insist that it has never actually been implemented anywhere. The opponents of socialism point out that every attempt to implement it results in economic collapse and a slew of body bags. Opponents are therefore correct to point out that socialism is a complete failure.

But laissez-faire capitalism is no better. Supporters insist that small government is really best, as small government encourages the free reign of capitalism. But every time capitalism is tried, we get big government, not small government. The only time anyone ever got small government was right after a revolution turned over the apple cart. As soon as the revolution is over, government grows, because it can't do anything else. 

Just as socialism always leads to big government and body bags, so laissez-faire capitalism always leads to big government and bureaucracy. It cannot do anything else. The very definition of how to be a good capitalist involves maximizing all streams of revenue. Government is, and always will be, one of those revenue streams, so it is always in the interest of capitalists to grow the government, just as he would grow any other aspect of his business.

Big government allows successful capitalists to suppress the competition, via government's law-making ability, and to increase revenue, via government's taxing ability. Any good capitalist is going to take advantage of those attributes. If he doesn't, he isn't a good capitalist.

This is why there is always a revolving door between business and government. Business needs ex-government leaders in-house, so they have experts available in how to co-opt government. Government needs ex-business leaders in-house so it knows how best to facilitate income generation and tax revenue streams. A good businessman always tried to capture government, and government will always allow itself to be captured, because it is run by businessmen who came in through the revolving door.

Laissez-faire capitalism ineluctably grows the government. Precisely because capitalism leads to the best businessmen getting the best outcomes for their businesses, it cannot do anything else.

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