Want to get the people’s support? Convince them you know how to save the economy. This is a subject that’s always at the forefront of people’s priorities because it affects basic human survival, and therefore everything else. Economics is also very misunderstood, so you need only feign some basic knowledge of the subject to get people to go “Oh, okay.”
But what is the economy, really? Really simply put, it’s everyone’s productive action put together. In that sense, it’s the simplest thing in the world. Every one of us is part of the economy. The guy who owns the taco stand down the street, the lawyer, the local security guard, even the guy who yells at people to lose weight and somehow gets paid for it.
But, when you think about it, the economy is also the most complicated thing in the world. Even the smallest actions we take every day can have an economic impact. Therefore, to control the economy is to have ultimate control over each and every human being. That’s a pretty impossible task, so when someone tells you that they can fix the economy, they are at best terribly mistaken, and at worst a callous liar.
No one came up with the idea of all doing business together for the benefit of mankind. Thousands, and eventually millions and billions, of individuals figured out the best way to be productive through much trial and error, and through taking into account a plethora of factors unique to each and every one of them. And they continue to do so to this day. Things change, disasters happen, and economic activity goes up and down. But ultimately, the productive citizens of the world handle the economy very well, thank you very much. They should… after all, their very livelihoods and survival depend on it.
The exception comes when something gets in the way. The owner of the taco stand can’t do business if he has to comply with a bunch of oppressive health regulations. The lawyer has a hard time making ends meet if there are restrictions placed upon his ability to advertise his services. The security guard has no job if his prospective employer can only afford to pay him $5 an hour to essentially sit around and do nothing all day, but is forced by law to pay all employees at least $10 an hour. And the dude who yells at fat people to lose weight can’t survive if the law dictates that he needs a psychology degree and a counseling certification.
I am absolutely confident when I say this to you: I can fix the economy. Here’s how I plan to do it: I’ll pretty much do nothing, and let business carry on uninhibited. Then BAM! Things get better. The easiest job in the world. Can I get paid for this, please?
Joel Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx.