Monday, February 13, 2012

The Fourth Turning? Why Bill Bonner is Right and Gary North is (Probably) Wrong

In a February 12 column at The Daily Reckoning, Bill Bonner wrote:
The zombies now are getting more money than wage earners. And millions of those wage earners are zombies themselves, on the government payroll…or the payroll of some industry — health, education, military — that depends on federal spending.
That leaves honest working people in a minority. And everybody gets a vote.
How do you think the zombies will vote? To cut back on spending on education? On healthcare? On foreign wars or new weapons? On welfare? On food stamps? On unemployment comp?
No, dear reader, there are some ailments that can’t be cured…and some problems democracy cannot solve.
As Frédéric Bastiat noted many moons ago in The Law, an inherent problem with democracy is the tendency of majorities to vote away property and rights to themselves. As he tersely put it,
The State is the great fiction through which everyone endeavours to live at the expense of everyone else.
This basic insight was revisited with a vengeance in Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Democracy – The God that Failed (2001).

For Gary North, the Austrian thinker and Bible scholar with an optimistic view (though pessimistic in the short run), the Millenial Generation will lead the way toward voting an end to Baby Boomer entitlements and preemptive foreign wars. But here’s a wrinkle: thanks to declining birth rates among the productive classes of American society (as well as abortion), the Millenials just don’t have the numbers – let alone that but a fraction of them are interested in a laissez-faire economic process.

For North’s expectation to prevail, more than disgruntled young service workers must become disillusioned with the present system.

I think Bonner is right. The late Medieval to late 18th century experiment in classical liberalism and freed market process ran its course. The social tendency throughout history has been toward political centralization and market control. The democratic sort, in its sundry shapes, continues to prove especially despotic.

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

If Bonner is right, that does not bode well for democracy.