Planned Economy Becomes Default Governing

If you are a Liberty Lover, you are already familiar with all the arguments and data points that leave no doubt on the following:

  • The free market is the fastest and smoothest way to ensure economic prosperity.
  • Price signaling can only be efficient without the barriers to the free market.
  • Losing price signaling leads to devastating consequences – as demonstrated by every socialist/communist country ever.

Although the data for these conclusions is there for all to see, it just can’t penetrate the massive wall of Washington corruption:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will seek a deal with President Trump to pass legislation that includes at least $1 trillion, but up to $2 trillion, for the nation’s infrastructure projects.

Democrats want far more federal spending and believe Trump’s earlier plan leaves local governments stuck with much of the cost for fixing roads, bridges, water systems, and other critical infrastructure projects.

For the uninitiated in the power of liberty, this all sounds marvelous!

Having the government engage in a massive spending spree of your tax money to make everyone’s lives better!

Who could possibly object to such a project? What could possibly go wrong?

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It turns out, everything goes wrong all the time.

But the stimulus ultimately failed to bring about a strong, sustainable recovery. Money was spread far and wide rather than dedicated to programs with the most bang for the buck. “Shovel-ready” projects, those that would put people to work right away, took too long to break ground. Investments in worthwhile long-term projects, on the other hand, were often rushed to meet arbitrary deadlines, and the resulting shoddy outcomes tarnished the projects’ image.

Better yet, we have an ongoing, real-world planned economy experiment in the form of China.

How is it working out for them?

Well, China developed this new planned economy product, called “ghost cities“:

Built for a population that never came, about 50 of these surreal sites lay desolate across the country. But still the construction continues.

These new cities are usually built in rural areas on the outskirts of existing cities.

Isn’t that great? Dozens of empty cities just waiting to enter dilapidation mode, never to be populated by human beings.

Conch Bay ghost city in northern China.
Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

How did such a bizarre state of affairs come about?

“The phenomenon very much has been driven by the debt splurge that really kicked into gear after the global financial crisis,” Mr McMahon said.

“Local governments around the country tried to juice and stimulate their economies by building more infrastructure and stimulating the property market.”


Why does that sound awfully familiar?

At the same time that the Treasury was spending the most it has spent in ten years, it was also taking in less in tax revenue than it has in the past five years.

The difference in the federal taxes taken in and the spending going out resulted in a federal deficit of $691,174,000,000 for the first six months of the fiscal year.

Do you have debt? Spend more!

Has your debt dramatically increased? Here, have some stimulus, spend even more!

This is how our government works.

Our short-term, democratically elected politicians are just looking to gain favors from whichever lobby they come across.

This corruption is then carried all the way down to contract municipal level. This is how China developed ghost cities.

It is a house of cards just barely holding together before it collapses.

Can we ever curtail the never-ending growth of government or can we only wait for its collapse? Hit reply and tell me your opinion.


—Ashleigh Dunn

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