Less intrusive government is key for better market, consumers
Published: Sunday, February 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 3, 2013 23:02
Today’s America consists of massive government intrusion and a lack of knowledge of history. The government has overstepped boundaries since the nation’s inception, and when it does, it creates massive problems.
One of the biggest places in which the government invades our lives is through transportation. The government built, owns and maintains most of the roads in America. But to think we need the government to do any of this remains absurd.
Early in our history, the government didn’t do any of this for us, private companies did. Cornelius Vanderbilt shipped people up the Hudson River, and transported people across railways in New York. John D. Rockefeller constructed pipelines to funnel oil into his plant. Andrew Carnegie made steel and used it to construct bridges, something never done before.
In addition to the ample documentation about these men, the History Channel’s miniseries “The Men Who Build America” follows Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Henry Ford. These men all owned private companies that improved America.
It’s safe to assume Rockefeller didn’t create kerosene in hope that the government would make candles. Rockefeller discovered people wanted kerosene for light. Vanderbilt didn’t have railroads in place and then wonder if the government would build train cars to run on them.
These men made something they thought the people would want and provided it to them.
Henry Ford is the most revolutionary of them all. Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan weren’t selling their products to the general public for mass consumption, but Ford was.
Ford sold cars to the common man at an affordable price, $850. Over the next few years, the price dropped to approximately $250. The government didn’t force Ford to do it. The government hadn’t taxed people heavily to build roads yet either. Ford sold cars to people before roads existed.
Again, although speculation, Ford probably didn’t wish to himself, “I hope the government taxes everyone so we have roads for cars.” Ford sold cars the best way he knew how and even lowered prices due to his innovative qualities and profit motive.
Ford brought what was a “luxury item” to the general population, and he did it at more than twice the average wage for a similar job. When Ford started the assembly line, the going rate for labor stood at $2 per day. Ford paid his employees $5 per day, without a union and without the government forcing him to raise wages.
Today, we don’t have the luxury of a distant government. We have an intrusive government. Many people view the government as an entity that enriches our lives. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Now that roads are owned by the government, prices skyrocket due to artificial demand the government has created by printing money.
If the government enters the market, it hurts the market. The government makes laws regulating things ranging from minimum wage to building codes. These laws make it more expensive to operate in our world.
Once the government took over health care, prices soared. Once the government entered education, prices shot up.
Despite examples showing tasks were completed without the government, many people still want more government. The Pew Research Center published that 59 percent of young voters favor bigger government.
Young people, as well as everyone who favors big government or any government involvement at all, don’t recognize the long list of facts showing the government’s involvement hinders the people and the market.
Drew Pells is a senior in business administration. The opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Pells can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.