Either the world has become much dumber or the exploitation and plunder has become bolder. Perhaps both!
In “The Triumph of Politics,” Detlev S. Schlichter addresses this very issue:
I wonder if forty years of paper money have made the politicians bolder and the economists dumber. But maybe at this stage they are both simply getting more desperate.
After describing what occurred to bring this about (think Nixon and the abandonment of gold and any monetary and most political constraints), Mr. Schlichter observes:
What I find fascinating is how many intelligent people are willing, even feel urged, to provide intellectual support for a system that is not the result of intellectual discourse but came about – rather non-intellectually – through sheer power politics, opportunism and hubris, and that is evidently failing. Our financial system (or non-system) offers a great example of Nietzsche’s dictum that investigating the true origin and the true motivation behind things most often leads to surprising results. The purpose and the clever design that most people later believe to be behind various institutions are often only projected onto them with hindsight.
Mr. Schlichter provides a historical perspective to what led to our current problems and, in my opinion, a correct diagnosis:
The biggest threat to your property and to your individual liberty does not come from markets and not even from the bankers. It comes from politics.
There are no true economic problems. There may be situations which we would like to see improved, such as someone or some group not having enough money. But that is a judgment. The situation reflects an outcome rather than a problem. A condition which doesn’t conform to some arbitrary definition of equity does not mean there is an economic problem. Human beings cannot fly. Is that a problem? If it is, it is little different from what politicians claim to be economic problems. Politicians cannot solve the problems presented by gravity any more than they can abrogate the natural laws of economics.
/There are political objections based on outcomes. These rest on flimsy equity judgments which in turn blame economics for not producing the results assumed to be “fair.” Attempts to overrule the laws of economics make matters worse. In all instances, government interventions to solve a “problem” creates multiple additional problems. Economies and markets are self-correcting when allowed to work. It is the working of these markets, natural and efficient, that the political class want to alter.
Politicians have no constraints, little common sense and little desire to improve anything but their own welfare. The influence and power they wield and their desire to benefit at the expense of others, contaminate all of society. Contact with politics is corrupting:
The unconscionable behavior of the political class should be thought of as a contagious disease that infiltrates any industry that comes within influence of the state. Government contractors, lobbying associations, favored corporations, and even the press all seek to use the monopolized power of government to further their own interests. Instead of attempting to roll back stifling regulations, many of these firms simply wish to get in on the spoils of the great extortionary scheme. The results are always the same. Politicians pretend to be saving the people from cold-natured capitalism while politically-connected businessmen and bankers act as if their commercial success is completely of their own doing. The hidden truth is both act in tandem to fleece the average taxpayer.” –James E. Miller
In pursuing their visions of equity and fairness, politicians blame economics. If the world worked properly, apparently it should conform to their Solomon-like fantasies. Because it does not and cannot, economics becomes a scapegoat. Pseudo economics becomes the means and substance behind their protection and favoritism racket.
There are enough economists willing to prostitute themselves for personal gain that the political scam appears credible. As a result we all become poorer and inequality and inequities increase as a result.