Government Has Far Too Much Control Over Our Money

To The Reader’s Forum:

Nobody seems to know anything about economics and nobody thinks anything through. Your editorial on October 5 muses over the wisdom of the minimum wage and how it may or may not help the poor.

If your work brings your employer more than he pays you, you keep your job. If the government tells him he has to pay you more than you are worth, he has two choices. The short term choice is you lose your job and someone else gets your pay. The long term choice is he goes broke and you and everyone who works for him loses their jobs. Either way, your labor, his investment and managerial skills, and every other employee’s potential are wasted and we all enjoy a lower standard of living than we would have because resources were misallocated.

On another page of the same issue a former owner of the White Inn pointed out the new owners get a government grant to put the place in shape but government wouldn’t give him a grant when he had it and it would have cost far less to put it back in shape. That is our tax money so we all have less to spend because of the “wisdom” of people who believe they make better decisions with money than we do so they take more of ours.

Both these are piecemeal examples of a command economy where a third party with power and its own agenda and incentives makes decisions for us with our money. We are always told the decision makers are wiser, more benevolent, and have a more sophisticated set of incentives. Humbug. They and their favorites may do better, but most of us and the economy as a whole suffer. The word is socialism and it does not herald Sweden on Midsummer Day. It presages East Germany in a cold rain.

Norman P. Carlson



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