It's very typical for the political class to believe that their edicts and mandates are somehow permanent.
Paul Krugman puts the mentality on display in his latest blog post. He wonders why Obama is being criticized from all angles. Can't anyone see the magnificence that Obama has bestowed upon the world?
Obama’s signature initiative, health reform, made a stunning comeback from a rocky start and will almost surely be irreversible by the time he leaves office. He’s taken the most important step on environmental policy since the Clean Air Act...If the point of being president is to do things with lasting effect, Obama has delivered.Here's the truth: If government's actions were really "irreversible" and "lasting" that would be the end of humanity. You and I would not be here sharing these ideas right now.
If there's one thing that is perfectly certain, it's that government is not omnipresent, not omniscient, and certainly not permanent. The Roman Empire is no longer here, neither are the Monguls, nor the Spanish, Portuguese, or British Empires. No doubt they all saw themselves (and their man-made rules) as permanent too. But nothing that is man-made is permanent. The saying "from dust to dust" has been around for so long, yet enough people still can't grasp its truth.
Governments spring up, they loot until they reach the limit, and then the intense desire for survival kicks in to reverse course. If the reversals were never to occur, that would be it! Humanity would be finished. The parasites need the host. The host does not need the parasites.
I always get a kick out of this one: Sometimes, when going on road trips, I'll notice signs along the road that say something like "These grounds have been set aside by the Township of XYX and will be conserved forever." Ha! It always gives me a chuckle.
Here's the downside. While governments and their man-made laws are never permanent, the damage that they inflict on the living is. In the 20th century alone, governments killed 100's of millions of people. That is permanent damage. Those people were not able to live out their lives, and everyone else lost out on the benefits that the deceased could have brought to life.
Death is not the only permanent damage that government inflicts either. The list is extremely long, and the full consequences cannot even be grasped. Fortunately, further damage can all be stopped. It doesn't have to continue. Man's historical climb out of filthy subsistence has been marked with countless episodes of peeling away State power. Early Americans peeled away large swaths of it, and life blossomed like never before.
Obviously, the Krugman's are back, but in no way are their silly schemes "irreversible".
Chris Rossini is author of Set Money Free: What Every American Needs To Know About The Federal Reserve. Follow @chrisrossini on Twitter.