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Democrats Are Failing History of Economics

By Carl Langley
web posted February 14, 2009
GUEST COLUMN – In response to the pork-laden stimulus legislation hatched by the Democrat majority in the Congress it’s time to recall the words of an economics professor at the University of South Carolina more than 50 years ago.

The professor‘s first name escapes me but his last name was Smith. He was a World War II Marine officer who wore a bowtie and sported a crew cut, which made him well equipped to terrify some of us studying free market capitalism.

Smith began each day’s lecture with a few short verses about the merits of the free enterprise system, which he called a blessing to those eager, able and capable and a curse to those who preferred to loaf their lives away and existed in a dependent state.

The professor’s favorite fable was the one about the ant and the grasshopper, which is as true today among living men and women as it was when it was first written centuries ago.

So, having noted all this, what follows are a few of Mr. Smith’s more prominent remarks as best as I can reassemble them. How fitting these quotes are at this moment in time, if the more sanguine among us consider the direction in which our country appears to be heading:

1. “Any time government enters into a working relationship with any segment of an industrialized society that segment is doomed to failure.”

2. “The road to ruin begins the moment government becomes a working partner with any kind of business, whether it be large or small.”

3. “Government is not a creator of wealth but a consumer, a certainty that should be evident to even the most dimwitted among us.”

4. “If you want to create and sustain a business you first toss into the trash any government blueprint offered you and reject any government offer to help.”

5. “Consultants thrive under government control, and they all share a similar trait in that their studies and reports usually produce the results desired by government bureaucrats.”
6. “A government job is usually the sanctuary of last resort for many individuals unable, or unwilling, to embrace the free enterprise system.”

7. “Only government has the power to tax and regulate, therefore one most assume it is government and not a free market that is the greatest threat to any individual’s or corporation’s economic health.”

8. “Government should intervene only in those cases where products that pose a threat to the public health and welfare are a part of the economic mainstream.“

9. “Socialism and communism poison the wells of the free market system because they stifle the creative genius that has lifted us from the dreary world of the ox and plow to one rapidly changing through technological miracles.”

I appreciate Mr. Smith more after listening to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stumble and mumble when asked about his plans to repair the country’s economic malaise.

Sen. Lindsey Graham was right when he gave up on Geithner during a Senate interview and ended his questioning by remarking, “You really don’t have a clue, do you?” Geithner objected to being painted clueless, then fell silent. His silence signaled that he really doesn’t have a clue.


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