We Must Be Good Gardeners of Our Economy
A natural ecosystem is wonderfully robust and can weather all sorts of natural disasters, even a lot of man-made pollution. What it has difficulty dealing with is with chemical dumps and the like. Living things cannot think about how they grow or what antibodies they produce or how they will try to repair themselves. They just do. So even then the ecosystem continues to limp along and deal with the sludge as best it can. Our economy is quite similar. It is a robust system of many millions of interactions. If a business fails then new ones take it’s place. The economy does not reward the sick and dying companies. They are sick and dying. A forest has no use for a dead tree except as fertilizer for new ones. When a dead tree falls in the rain forest there is opportunity for numerous other trees to rapidly fill the void. These trees then provide homes for birds, insects, and assorted other life that live in and around trees. They do this much better then dead trees or dying companies.
There is this tendency to view the economy as a machine and this is a mistake. A machine might have a bad engine. We can replace the engine with a new one and the machine is as good as new. But we cannot put the economy up on blocks and change out parts while it’s at a stand still. Further, we can’t start it up again as good as new. The economy was never ‘new’. Our economy began as seedlings hundreds of years ago. As our nation has grown so too has our economy grown and today it is a vibrant forest. We cannot “regulate” a forest, nor can we “fix” it. We can tend and nurture it.
If there is a dry spell the answer is not to take water from the trees, but that is precisely what the progressive solution calls for. Businesses natural tendency, like trees, is to grow, but if they cannot afford to grow they won’t. Just as is impossible for a tree to grow if you restrict it’s water supply, it is impossible to tax businesses into creating more jobs. Even the communists understand that.
By the same token, if you breed a tree to require three times as much water to grow, then it will fall into the shadow of those around it. Such is the case with auto manufacturers who have been paying their employees three times the amount the private sector would pay for such jobs.
Like any living thing the economy needs time to heal. It will not happen over night. Employers do not all decide one day they will hire a whole lot of people, nor do people en mass decide to spend more. Companies do not begin producing more widgets unless they believe there will be demand for more widgets.
A good first step would be to increase the water supply. It is a known fact to good gardeners that plants grows better with regular rain then in a drought. Cut the business tax and people will be able to keep money where it’s generated. This instantly rewards those who are contributing to the economy and encourages them to contribute more.
A good second step would be to stop breeding and supporting companies that are inefficient. Do we really need more dodo’s in our economy? No. Do we really need to go to the effort of keeping them safe so they don’t kill themselves? No, no we do not. Good gardeners do not go to such lengths. Good gardeners cut out the deadwood.
There are cases where a tree is too dangerous to let fall in one go because it will take many small trees with it when it falls. This has been argued to be the case in regards to the bailout of our financial institutions. A good gardener then will then cut bits off the tree little by little so that it does not take healthy trees with it. A good gardener will also take notice of which trees this is true and which trees it is not. It may have been necessary for our financial institutions, but it is not a tactic to employ with regards to the auto manufacturers.
We must abandon this notion that the economy is a machine. Too often our pundits and politicians make the mistake of natural cycles of our living economy as calls to “fix” or “regulate” it. If we introduce poison into our economy then the economy will have to deal with that poison. The unintended consequences of the natural market reaction is not a reason to introduce more of the same. If there is cancer in the system then we are not served by letting it grow and spill into other areas of our economy.
The rich soil of the American individual has produced a rich forest of many millions of interactions that we take for granted as our economy. It is a robust system. It has managed to live, adapt, and thrive despite some best attempts to hamstring it. Even in our current economic crisis the only thing we have to compare it to in the world is itself. We will get through this one way or another, but we will get though it faster if we avoid being ham-fisted mechanics. We must be good gardeners.