No-All Party

by Don Boudreaux on April 9, 2010

in Frenetic Fiddling, Hubris and humility

Here’s a letter sent earlier today to WTOP Radio:

Your interview yesterday with someone from (I think) the New America Foundation was replayed today during the 5am hour.  That person – a supporter of Pres. Obama’s activist legislative and regulatory agenda – said, very poetically, of the President’s opponents “They can’t achieve anything by saying no to everything.”

I write not to defend Republicans but, rather, to correct the widespread myth that saying “yes” to government interventions is a more positive and creative agenda than is saying “no” to those interventions.

Most of the interventions proposed by Mr. Obama and his party take decision-making authority away from each of millions of individuals and give it to officials in Washington.  These interventions, therefore, say “no” to those of us who wish to provide for our own pensions without contributing to Social Security – “No!” to those who wish not to spend money on health-insurance of the sort mandated by Uncle Sam – “No!” to those who wish to buy low-priced tires from China – “No!” to those who ask Uncle Sam not to further saddle our children with the burden of paying off the debt he accumulates as a result of his incontinent spending – “No!” to young men and women who wish to work as unpaid interns for private corporations.

If we opponents of centralized government power form a “party of ‘no,’” it is only because the proponents of such power form a far more dangerous party, namely, the “party of ‘know-it-alls.’”

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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