Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

What can we do to help commerce? the French finance minister asked a group of businessmen in the late 17th century. The reply became famous — was, indeed, the snappy comeback heard ’round the world: “Laissez-nous faire!”

Let us be; leave us alone.

Or: Get out of the way! No onerous taxes, no playing favorites with subsidies or regulations or “protection.”

It’s unlikely that President Obama keeps the works of the French Physiocrats, or later “political economy” writers, by his bedside. Speaking before the Chamber of Commerce recently, he enjoined businessmen to “hire and invest,” “get in the game,” etc.

“Ultimately,” he explained, “winning the future is not just about what the government can do to help you succeed. It’s about what you can do to help America succeed.”

Stop dithering! Hire!

But what competent capitalist, enjoying a huge and lasting increase in demand, and having the means to hire new employees to help meet it, would refuse to do so? Obama speaks as if “helping the economy” were the point of getting staff. No. One hires to produce, sell and make money. This does “help the economy”; it is the economy. But companies only hurt themselves and the economy if they hire persons not yet needed just to “win the future.”

Responding to Obama’s remarks, Harold Jackson, CEO of Buffalo Supply, says it’s “a little outside the bounds to suggest that if we hire people we don’t need, there will be more demand.”

A little? Understatement.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

3 Comments

  1. Drik says:

    The other parts of the speech to the Chamber of Commerce told them that the workers needed to get their fair share of any income, and the government needs to get its fair share of any income and that they need to do the right thing.

    Sort of a watered down Spike Lee speech that told the American Business community that they were basically there to be gutted if they were unfortunate enough to not be able to branch into overseas markets and had to be operating solely in the USofA.

    Brought tears to the eyes, listening to Presbo.

  2. […] thought I was done talking about Obama’s Chamber of Commerce speech. But the Mises Institute’s Jeffrey Tucker has tackled […]

  3. MoreFreedom says:

    I like what Matt Welch wrote, quoting from http://reason.com/archives/2011/02/07/the-c-word

    December saw the passing of a great American: the academic and bureaucrat Alfred E. Kahn, father of airline deregulation. Kahn was a liberal Democrat who, after applying rigorous study to the impact of federal regulation on industry, came to the conclusion that in many cases regulation served to raise prices, blunt innovation, form government-sanctioned industrial cartels, and discriminate against new businesses. The market, not the government, was the most effective tool to discipline big business, because corporations that punished their customers were doomed to failure. In short, Kahn understood that misguided regulation produced exactly what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claims to despise: big business and government entwined in unholy corporatism.

    I doubt Obama will learn the lesson. He might actually know it, but he’s a corporatist, and likes the campaign cash to flow from favored companies (or companies in fear of the government) to him.

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