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Friday, October 18, 2013

Influential Wisconsin Conservative Shatters "Government, Get Out Of The Way" Meme

I think this story is worth a second look.

The Janesville Gazette published a couple of puff pieces promoting the notorious red state lobbyist group, Rock County 5.0, in which one of the groups' co-chairs, Diane Hendricks, of "divide and conquer" fame made a few statements that run directly counter to one of conservatism's long-held and revered beliefs about the role of government.

I've referred to Hendricks as Wisconsin's Koch, but to be fair she is in a class by herself. Regardless what we may think, she is considered a significant figure in conservative politics.This is what she recently said about government's role in local economic activity...

JG Excerpt:
“City councils didn't close the door or put up too many barriers,” Hendricks said. “We've seen numerous times where councils took some risk, and I applaud them." “You're not always guaranteed success; sometimes you have to stick your neck out there.”

That is a clear departure from what she wrote back in 2010, titled "Government, get out of the way of business" ...

USA Today Excerpt:
Governments have a role in this economy. They can provide things the private sector cannot, such as national defense and policing. They can also protect private property and arbitrate disputes. But government's role is not stimulus.

Sure, it may sound like just another easily dismissed talking point, but sticking your neck out is a far cry from "getting out of the way." Shoot, it's the exact opposite! Plus, she's applying a "risk" quality that government must either adopt or accept in efforts to effect economic growth. Like there is no other way.

The risk she is referring to is not the regulatory demon of course. It's capital. This in my opinion is fundamentally dangerous to the competitive free markets and something new, at least put into words, that our existing government regulated capitalism isn't enough. That government in and of itself, must expand and start injecting its vast collectivist capital power into the free markets. The statement suggests a displacement if not total failure of the private capital, loan and banking system, at least in the capacity of their original intended purpose. Hendrick's statements can only come if they are no longer functioning, so she turns to government for resolutions I would not expect from a free market capitalist.

It all sounds very ominous.

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