Comment: http://mises.org/daily/1773/W

(See in situ)


http://mises.org/daily/1773/W

http://mises.org/daily/1773/Why-Intervention-Persists

From the link: With a few exceptions contemporary commentators on economic problems are advocating economic intervention. This unanimity does not necessarily mean that they approve of interventionistic measures by government or other coer­cive powers. Authors of economics books, essays, articles, and political platforms demand interventionistic measures before they are taken, but once they have been imposed no one likes them. Then everyone—usually even the authori­ties responsible for them—call them insufficient and unsat­isfactory. Generally the demand then arises for the replace­ment of unsatisfactory interventions by other, more suitable measures. And once the new demands have been met, the same scenario begins all over again. The universal desire for the interventionist system is matched by the rejection of all concrete measures of the interventionist policy.

Sometimes, during discussion of a partial or complete re­peal of a regulation, there are voices against changing it, but they rarely approve the given measure; they wish to prevent even worse measures. For instance, scarcely ever have live­stock farmers been pleased with the tariffs and veterinary regulations that were adopted in order to restrict the impor­tation of livestock, meats, and fats from abroad. But as soon as consumers demand the repeal or relaxation of these re­strictions, the farmers rise in their defense. The champions of legislative labor protection have labeled every regulation adopted so far as unsatisfactory—at best to be accepted as an installment on what needs to be done. But if one such regulation faces repeal—for instance, the legal limitation of the workday to eight hours—they rise in its defense.

This attitude toward specific interventions is readily un­derstood by anyone who recognizes that intervention neces­sarily is illogical and unsuitable, as it can never attain what its champions and authors hope to attain. It is remarkable, however, that it is obstinately defended in spite of its short­comings, and in spite of the failure of all attempts at demon­strating its theoretical logic. To most observers, the thought of returning to classical liberal policies appears so absurd that they rarely bother to give it thought.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."