Here is the letter National assessment:
Samuel Gregg convincingly broke down the national-conservative case for the economy shifting from serving our interests as consumers to serving our interests as producers (“Let consumer sovereignty reign” May 21) As Mr. Gregg explains, real production is achieved only to the extent that our efforts as consumers satisfy our needs as consumers – the needs expressed by income creators in the peaceful way they choose their own and only their own money. Ironically, if the U.S. government were to repeal these demands in order to block workers from the jobs they currently perform, America would slowly change from a nation of people who produce for each other to one where people depend on one another. .
Implicit in Mr. Gregg’s piece is a point that should be made clear. Here’s the thing: the desire to pursue specific activities that don’t serve consumers as well as possible is itself a consumption desire. This demand can be met – ‘bought’ – to the extent that workers in those occupations agree to lower their wages to a level that allows their employers to profitably employ them. But if the government were to protect those jobs with subsidies or tariffs, the government would raise the consumption needs of these workers above the consumption needs of the citizens. The ability to feed citizens is artificially suppressed in order to increase the ability to feed protected workers.
It turned around. Rather, it is a policy that favors the consumption of some while stifling the consumption of others—and in the process reduces overall American productivity.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair in the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
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