The beginning of the year 2010 saw a period of growth of GDP and increasing market confidence that suggested the world wide recession might be driven out of its doldrums, as in previous times, by the American economic engine. The United States government in particular sought to fuel the recovery with public stimulus dollars and continues to encourage the world to do likewise. Now the confidence of governments across the globe has been shaken by the flat economic response and poor job growth. Retrenchment has become the cause celebre’ with budgets tightened and taxes raised to attempt to staunch the bleeding of nationhood through skyrocketing national debt. The United States government continues to see things differently.
Concern is now mounting that the fragile recovery is losing steam and a slide back into recession, or worse, may be looming. The presence of many similarities to the government responses leading to the economic collapse of 1932 is gaining intellectual credibility.
The fundamental failure to understand the role individual freedom and entrepreneurship plays in economic progress, job growth, and elevation of society’s living status remains the governmental underpinning of bad polices, bad investment, and bad regulation. I just hope we do not pay the price of the generation of the 1930’s with its personal tragedies and its unstable and dangerous political responses, in order to once again learn the lessons of successful growth in a free society.