The Wall Street Journal has an interview with Václav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic. He’s also a Professor at the Prague School of Economics. He’s a very smart man and he has words people in the US need to hear.
ROBERT THOMSON: Mr. President, obviously during the dark days of communism, America was a beacon for you and many other people in Central and Eastern Europe. What are your impressions of contemporary America?
VÁCLAV KLAUS: Sitting here in this room in the last two hours and the coming from, first Europe, and, second, from a former communist country where I spent most of my life, I almost don’t believe my eyes to see how much you believe in government and how much you don’t believe in the market.
This is for me a shocking experience. And I have to say that very loudly. As a professor of economics, I have my theoretical arguments about the impossibility of running the economy from above.
As a person who spent almost 50 years of his life in a communist country, I know how crazy it is to introduce schemes like the cap and trade and similar ideas, how devastating and damaging for the economy all those ideas really are. So I’m rather frustrated. It seems to me that to fight for freedom, free markets, is still the task of today, even if we hoped almost 20 years ago in the moment of the fall of communism that it was over.
This is the same in Europe these days. There is one EU summit after another one weekend after another, there is a summit trying to find solutions. But I don’t think that this solution will come from the government.
As they say, read the whole thing.
But I think the most interesting line is here:
MR. KLAUS: Well, of course, as an economist, I am aware of the externalities. I am aware of various cases of market failure. Nevertheless, I am first convinced that the government failure is incomparably bigger than any imaginable market failure in history.
And that is the heart of the problem. Only with the power of government do we get the truly world class mistakes. The genocides. The continent spanning wars. The crooked politicians saddling our decedents with trillions of dollars of debt for their own personal gain. The depressions. The ecological disasters. Ted Kennedy. (snerk)
The free market is incapable of failing in so big a way.
Do we really want to hand the US Government more power, knowing the inevitable consequences? Surely it is madness to think that the US can make socialism work when so many others have failed.
Socialism lives on oppression and genocide. It eats people and shits misery.
There is no possible way to make it work anywhere or any time. To attempt it in the US will result in violence and bloodshed just as it has everywhere else.
History is warning us and we had better start listening before it’s too late.