This EJ Dionne WaPo article is excellent in that it contains in nearly every word the crux of an important issue: the ideological difference between liberals and libertarians (and some conservatives, though certainly not many, and certainly fewer than the popular consensus on what it means to be a conservative would suggest).

Read the article and you get the impression the EJ Dionne would solve a lot of problems by doing something. Doing what? Doesn’t matter; doing something is the key. And that something needs to be done, in EJ Dionne’s world, by government.

He would label as unconstructive anybody that doesn’t want to do something. But what if doing nothing is the right answer? What if the right answer is NOT to flail around as if the problems the US economy is facing right now are solvable by government intervention. Those problems very well might not be solvable with government intervention. There is good reason to believe that the more government does, the more uncertain the business environment becomes and the less business does to expand and hire and innovate.

I would say to EJ Dionne: it is very unconstructive to readily, blindly, and wantonly label as unconstructive those who would solve problems by doing nothing.

It is important to understand that complex systems are complex and intervention often makes things worse.

-JD Cross

 

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