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Socialism Does Not Strengthen An Economy

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:


David Malpass packs much wisdom into his call for unleashing market forces in the U.S. (“Slow Growth Is Ahead Unless Government Gets Out of the Way,” Feb. 15). He errs, however, by writing that “the U.S. needs a much stronger economy to counter the socialism offered by China through its trade and debt initiatives.” The implication is that China’s re-embrace of socialism makes that economy stronger.

But of course it doesn’t. Socialism has an unbroken record of economic failure. Mr. Malpass’s slip-up is worth correcting because, by suggesting that Beijing’s massive economic interventions make China’s economy stronger, he unwittingly lends unjustified credibility to both progressives and National Conservatives who itch to displace resource allocation guided by market signals with resource allocation imposed by political diktat.

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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