What’s Destroying the US?

What’s destroying the US is most likely this: government grown so big that its insatiable appetite devours the society that created it. Watching the US go down “the road to serfdom,” to use that memorable phrase from Hayek, is scary because what destroys the US can hardly not be expected to destroy weaker countries. Here’s Dan Mitchell arguing forcefully the case for limited government.

[Above video from the Steamboat Institute conference, dated Aug 28, 2009,]

Post-independence India did not have a limited government because it was a hand-me-down government from the British. The British of course had to have a government that was in absolute control of the economy: why else be a colonial ruler if not to enforce its will on the country, to extract and exploit the economy? The Indian economy languished for decades under the socialistic policies started by Nehru and India got the 2 percent or so “Nehru rate of growth.” Under the non-Nehru leaders such as Narasimha Rao and AB Vajpayee, India attempted to shake off the government. Some degree of liberalization was done and it grew at the non-Nehru rate of growth. Now that the Nehru-family leadership is back in government, India is rapidly regressing to the Nehru rate of growth.

It is demoralizing and depressing. India needs a real visionary leader, not a turbaned clerk. The US needs leadership but over the last three presidential elections the Americans have demonstrated forcefully the proposition that the country gets the government it deserves. George W Bush set the country on the road and his successor has stepped on the gas with a vengeance.

Anyhow, here’s something to cheer you up — or maybe not. The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek in cartoons.

Postscript: Video of the question-answer following Dan Mitchell’s talk.

Author: Atanu Dey


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