"The art of economics consists of looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."
There are two clear and present dangers to liberty. One is known as the Left, and the other is the Right. They seek to use government to mold society into a form they seek, rather than the form that liberty achieves if society is left on its own.
We often hear that various government policies are justified because "the people want" this or "we want" that. This belief assumes that dissenting minorities don't matter at all. "We want" is usually nothing more than rank majoritarianism.
According to the usual justification for government regulation of externalities,almost everything we do is ripe for regulation. Even worse, regulators never admit their prohibitions prevent an incalculable number of positive externalities.
Business owners have always made errors, and external factors can lead to economic crises of various sorts. But the cyclical pattern of booms and busts we now see are a result of government interventions not seen in a free marketplace.