James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Self-Sufficiency Harms the Economy

You have a small garden, and with it you grow some of your own food. You don’t sell any of it to anyone else.

This gardening activity, however, means that you do not purchase as much food from others as you would if you didn't have the garden. It is sensible, then, for the government to have you figure out how much produce you grew, figure out the cash value of it, and pay taxes on it.

Furthermore, this gardening affected interstate commerce. Your selfish insistence to grow some of your own fruits and vegetables influences the local market, and the local market affects the statewide market, and that affects the national market. Congress therefore has the right to prohibit individuals from growing their own food. And it should, to protect jobs.

Indeed, the entire do-it-yourself mentality is terribly selfish, greedy, and harmful to the economy. When you, as you call it, “save money,” you are depriving somebody else of that money. If you like to fix cars as a hobby and you fix your friend's car, that means a professional mechanic couldn’t do it, so he's lost that income. If you cook your own meals, restaurants will go out of business. Paint your house, clean the carpet, do the laundry, move, whatever it may be - there are professionals who are better at it than you, so you are not only hurting them by not hiring them, you are hurting yourself.

The nation would really be better off if each individual focused on doing one thing well, and only one thing. If their jobs become obsolete, they would be allowed to train for something else, but not before that. People should only be allowed to learn other skills if the economy depends on them. I mean, of course people should learn how to drive and use a computer keyboard, because there aren’t enough chauffeurs and typists to go around. Maybe they should even be allowed to prepare some meals at home to keep supermarkets in business - as long as they can’t grow their own food. But the underlying point is the same: generally speaking, self-sufficiency is bad for the economy.

In fact, all of your life choices also affect your economic choices, and that in turn affects the economy. So I don't understand how people can say that the Constitution prohibits Congress from regulating your life. After all, your bad choices will be bad for the economy, and that hurts other people. That hurts the general welfare. Of course Congress should step in.

Indeed, all these people shouting “freedom” or “liberty” are just being selfish. We are free because we live in a democracy.

Okay, the above paragraphs are absurd. But I will never understand the logic of those who concede people should have the right to grow their own food, but don't have the right to grow their own medicine. Or why friends can fix each other's cars, but aren't allowed to give medical help without a license. Or why some people creatively interpret the Constitution to give the government broad powers over some aspects of our lives, but then protest when the same creative interpretation is used by other people to empower the federal government over some other aspects. Or why they value democracy more than personal freedom.

1 comment:

  1. For years, I've been trying to figure out what this "the economy" is that all the talking heads are jabbering about on the cable news channels. I think I've finally got it figured out: it's our enemy.