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“Do Not As I Do But As I Command”

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Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Neil King reports that many prominent people agree with Hillary Clinton that today’s investors are so short-sighted that government must force them to take a longer view (“Hillary Clinton Is Not the Only Critic of ‘Quarterly Capitalism [2]’,” July 31).  An obvious question arises: why aren’t these investment geniuses personally buying and holding as many as possible of the assets that are sold by the hordes of impatient investors who allegedly are now leaving profits on the table by selling too soon?  If Ms. Clinton & Co. personally did such investing, and if they are correct in their assessment of the current state of the market, not only would they further increase their own wealth, they would also improve the operation of markets – all without any additional government interventions.

So Ms. Clinton – who has an enviable, if short, track record of investment success – should put her money where her mouth is by buying up as many assets as she can (which is quite a lot, given that she and Bill are no longer dead broke).  Ditto for the Prince of Wales, Al Gore, and other politicians and pundits who publicly parade as financial virtuosi.  Of course, if these people refuse to put their money where their mouths are, the rest of us would be wise to refuse to give them power to put our money where their mouths are.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
and
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

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