Hey Government: Get Out Of the Way

October 20, 2010

The current economic brain trust in Washington doesn’t have a clue about energizing business. Maybe that’s because the administration’s inner circle is dominated by academics with theoretical knowledge—not real business people. If those determining America’s entire business agenda have never met a payroll, it’s no wonder the economy is stuck in neutral at best.

In the past two years our government has tried to redistribute nearly a trillion dollars (stimulus) from taxpayers and future taxpayers (children and grandchildren) to myriad and questionable “do-good” schemes. But we know now that this stimulus has not stimulated business.

Add to the failed stimulus plan a healthcare program that scares about every business person in the land, a Congress that can’t decide on the tax rates due to take effect in a matter of weeks and regulation pouring out of Washington at more than twice the historic pace. This is why business is at a standstill. Political indecision and tightening regulation is paralyzing our business enterprise.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead
The continual march toward more government in every aspect of our lives is like throwing a giant wet blanket on business initiative. The more government takes and regulates, the less incentive there is to produce. The extreme example of this process is called communism: It took everything and people produced nothing. Is this the right path for us?

President Reagan took the reins in 1981 following a decade of inflation, stagflation and recession. His formula: cut taxes, reduce government and scale back regulation. Two years later we began 25 years of unparalleled economic growth—the strongest in the history of our country.

More currently, China is the most vivid example of explosive economic growth, with its GDP growing close to 10% for nearly two decades. Poverty in China has dropped from 60% of the population in the early 90s to 16% today. Its formula: free markets, low taxes, property rights and lessening regulation.

Need more success models? Brazil has cut the size of government and has taken a mostly laissez-faire approach to the economy. The result: explosive growth. India has done the same and is seeing greater economic escalation than any time in its history.

There are so many success stories, yet we continue to follow a path reminiscent of the 1930s Roosevelt Administration that took a severe recession and turned it into the Great Depression—the worst financial crisis in our country’s history.

But there is a way forward. Hey government: You want to stimulate business, job growth and the economy? Then it is time to stop interfering. Quit the march to socialism, get rid of an ill-conceived health care reform, cut regulation and reduce every single part of the federal apparatus. Free the greatest economic engine in the world to get back to doing what it does best: building the economic strength of the United States of America.


Joe Scarlett,joe@joescarlett.com
Retired Chairman of Tractor Supply Company
Founder of the Scarlett Leadership Institute

Comments and Discussion:

Bravo

Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 10:35 AM by Barbara Byrd
Joe, you have such a great way of summing up what everyone is thinking. How about moving to Washington and setting them straight!




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