I am still mixing things up between Objective Communication and, among other things, Taxation: The People’s Business. Today’s quote from the latter is one that could just as easily have been written today rather than in a book written nearly 90 years ago.
Subsidies have been granted to some industries to encourage production until demand should become normal and bonuses have been granted to relieve certain classes of consumers burdened by the high prices of necessaries. Such efforts to regulate the law of supply and demand have generally proved ineffective, and in many European countries have resulted in expenditures by the state for which no adequate revenue could be found.
Bonuses here refers. in more modern terms, to such programs as welfare, food stamps, fuel assistance, and so forth.
Such programs are even more ineffective when one considers that in large part the reason why many necessaries are so expensive is because of government regulations. From programs that pay farmers to not produce food to keep prices higher to requirements that utilities use more expensive “renewable” energy sources, many government regulations have the effect of raising prices for consumers, which they then address with programs to help those who cannot afford the artificially higher prices.
We are seeing this now with Obamacare and health insurance. One of the main drivers of the higher cost of insurance has been government action. More than 70 years of government intervention in health care have driven prices higher. So high that a government program is “needed” to help those who can’t afford them.
Until we come to realize the lessons of history, that government intervention in the economy does not work, we are doomed to ever more government control over our lives. After all, if we are dependent on the government for the necessaries of life, how apt are we to protest government action and risk losing those necessaries?