(This is a response to a letter in our local weekly paper, The Independent Coast Observer, by a local Liberal touting the virtues of Progressive economic theory. From my studies of Progressive theory, it seems just another word to disguise warmed over Socialism.)
Mr. Skibbins is apparently proud of Progressive economists, since his letter was only a bibliography of their names and titles, devoid of any other information besides their admission of belief in greater government control. I could cite many experts more prominent and relevant to current economic theory that the Progressives, but two will suffice: Mr. Skibbins’ late Sea Ranch neighbor, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich Hayek, prescient author of The Road to Serfdom, published in 1944.
Progressives strangely think that if an uneducated, unskilled, malnourished worker overseas can do a job as well and cheaper than an American, that the American should want his government to fight outsourcing instead of encouraging him to get a better job. Or that it is in mankind’s best interest to deny the world’s impoverished the means to survive and perhaps even prosper.
While progressives believe in government solutions, John Maynard Keynes was shown the light. He said that Hayek’s claim that temporary governmental fixes usually become permanent and growing government programs, stifling the private sector and civil society, was "deeply moving." Hayek included this quote on the cover of The Road to Serfdom.
Mr. Skibbins concludes that corporations should not be “making profits for their owners at the expense of the rest of us.” Of course, corporations get their operating capital from investors. When they are unprofitable, owners lose their investments, the corporations soon cease operations, and then their former workers join the ranks of the unemployed. And unlike the “exploited” workers dear to Progressive lore, today’s workers are usually also owners of corporations through 401K and IRA investments.
Government already mismanages many things at the expense of the rest of us, particularly Social Security and Medicare, so I’m sure they could completely foul up corporations if we were fools enough to let them try.