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Frankly Lazy Fare

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

I wince when fellow advocates of free markets suggest that Uncle Sam is now akin to Hitler’s Nazis.

Yes, like Nazis, many officials in the U.S. government today yearn to impose strict gun-control, see no problem with the indiscriminate confiscation of private property for allegedly ‘public’ uses, and advocate the aggressive prosecution of ‘speculators.’  But for all of its hostility to individualism – for all of its overreaching and haughtiness – the U.S. government isn’t remotely as vile and as lawless as was Hitler’s gang of goons.

So I wonder if reasonable persons on the left wince similarly when your columnist Thomas Frank insists that “The laissez-faire system has just finished giving us a convincing demonstration of its viciousness” (“What’s the Matter With Democrats?” Feb. 24).  Surely sensible people on the left know that the last time America’s economy was within a dozen light-years of laissez-faire was during the presidency of Calvin Coolidge.  And surely these people know also that, for all of the genuine hardships uncorked by the current economic downturn, its consequences are as close to being “vicious” as WWII-era Japanese-American internment camps were as close to being like Auschwitz.

Donald J. Boudreaux

(Please note: I am not in any way defending Uncle Sam’s unjustified internment of Japanese-Americans.)


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