Everyone knows about the Great Depression which brought massive government intervention and lasted a decade. But few know of the Depression of 1920–21 which was ignored by government and lasted eighteen months.
It is now commonplace for governments to measure economic prosperity with GDP metrics. Numerous arbitrary rules and faulty assumptions behind these measures, however, skew our view of how economies grow and living standards improve.
Throughout most of history, “citizens belonged to the city, body and soul,” writes Larry Siedentop in his new book Inventing the Individual . Even today, the Western idea of the free individual remains largely confined to the West.
For decades, the Italian state has facilitated the Mafia's grip on industry in Italy. The result has been a disastrous lack of foreign investment and other ills. It now seems that only the elimination of the central state could bring about serious reform.
Money creation does not benefit equally. It creates a class of winners (those who get new money first) at the expense of losers (those who get new money later). Not surprisingly, an inflationary money supply increases the wealth and income gap in society.
Free markets have provided an abundance of goods and comforts for even low-income households. But constant government intervention in the work, lives, and incomes of the poor continues to create many barriers to economic success.
Government likes to put out lots of data showing things like income and employment for huge numbers of people. The problem is, this tells us almost nothing about how real-life people are hurt or helped by government intervention.
If we want to lower the cost of health care, we should seek to increase the availability of health care services, including increases in trained medical personnel. Government, however, acts repeatedly to prevent the entry of more doctors into the marketplace.