Trust The Market Not The Politicians

First Published: 2010-10-30

Joan Thompson (1927 – 2015)

by Joan Thompson

In a Bahamian blog former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling is described by a Commenter as one of the “shrewdest politicians ever” and because the current crop of politicians “sat at his feet”, they therefore “know what’s best for the country”. 

That is all very well, but where has political shrewdness got us?

If politicians know what’s best for the country they should be asked to explain their fiscal policy decisions that have left a formerly rich small country with an unsustainable debt.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” and political decisions of the past 40 years are getting us there – even if not intended.

The National Debt is directly related to the decisions of those in charge – and no one else. There is a correlation between the expanded power of politicians and the dimming light at the end of the debt tunnel. Yet Mr. Commenter trusts them “to know what is best”. The fact is they cannot know, they can only guess and they have proven to be bad guessers.

The answer to “what’s best” is best determined by the free market and the countless decisions of individuals improving their own lives whilst at the same time also improve the lives of others; Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand.

If “what’s best for the country” means turning more power over to some political saviour, freedom is going to erode away and do not be surprised when your own economic decision-making is seriously compromised by a devalued dollar. Many bad political decisions are said to be for “the greater good”. Just don’t buy it.

There is nothing surprising in the fact that we are dissatisfied with many things. The important question is whether we turn our responsibility for problem solving over to politicians or find our own solutions.

Perhaps only a few trust politicians to fix all, but if the majority of Bahamians are blinded by “shrewd” smart talking politicians into believing they have the answers, the price of their misplaced trust is our liberty.

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