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Frau Merkel, Tear Down This Wall!

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Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Blaming “speculators” and “investors’ greed” for the euro’s decline, the German government has imposed new taxes and regulations to severely restrict speculation (“German lawmakers approve euro rescue package [2],” May 21).

Each such restriction is to capital what the Berlin Wall was to people: an obstacle meant only to protect irresponsible and oppressive governments from the consequences of their irresponsibility and oppression.

By forcibly obstructing people’s ability to flee a tyrannical regime, the Berlin Wall averted only a symptom – people flight – of the East German government’s depredations.  Likewise, by forcibly obstructing investors’ abilities to sell assets, Germany’s new capital restrictions avert only a symptom – capital flight – of the current German government’s unwise economic policies.

Donald J. Boudreaux