Undo Something


Crisis and Leviathan author Robert Higgs goes to town on the free market economists ("you know who you are") who have "gone over to the dark side in recent months." Some snippets:

It now appears, I am saddened to report, that these free-market experts were not so expert after all. Indeed, many of them seem to have failed to understand how markets work and how government actions can hobble or kill those workings. Many have talked as if they actually believe in vulgar Keynesianism or other crackpot ideas—about "systemic risk" where none exists or about "missing markets" for poor-quality assets that only a fool would try to sell privately when the alternative of a munificent government buyout shimmers on the horizon.


Above all, policy makers, economists, other analysts, and news media commentators need to cultivate an understanding of and appreciation for the wisdom of the aphorism, "don't just stand there, undo something." The greatest mistake made in previous occasions of this sort has been to add new government burdens to the ones that helped to bring on the troubles in the first place; hence the ratchet effect in the growth of government. If only we had the wisdom to recognize a crisis as the most compelling occasion for getting rid of accumulated government burdens and idiocies, then we could throw the ratchet effect into reverse, with highly beneficial long-run consequences, including greater economic liberty and faster economic growth.

Whole thing here. reason stands against the bailout here, here, here, here, here, and here.