Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Sponge Is a Mess!

By Robert Anderson for LewRockwell.com

It’s been over fifty years since I first heard Leonard Read make the comment, "The market is analogous to a sponge. The market can absorb a lot of government mess until, like a saturated sponge, it becomes a mess too!" Looking back, it’s been almost fifty years since Leonard (he was my best man at our wedding) told me marriage and the market share this similar trait, so keep your sponge dry. While our marriage has done so, sadly the same cannot be said about the free market economy over these past fifty years.

Today I find myself reflecting on another Read comment, but this one related to human progress. He often noted that a social order advances through folks overcoming adversity, and thus periods of what he liked to call devolution, are essential to achieving that end. Of course, Leonard’s abstract idea sounded a lot better to me fifty years ago than it does from experiencing it today!

It’s frightening to me how much individual liberty has been lost during my lifetime, and especially since the birth of my father. When my father was born near the end of the nineteenth century, the only awareness that a federal government even existed in his family’s life was the local postman delivering the mail. Today, that same government is about to force some people to purchase medical insurance with fines and jail threatened if they do not comply. These are apt anecdotal reminders showing how the concept of government has radically changed when compared to more than a century ago. Unfortunately, an omnipotent and omnipresent plundering state has become today’s replacement for that old nineteenth-century relic.

Read the entire article here.


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