. . . [t]hings are getting better all the time and the march toward greater freedom and prosperity is almost inevitable. The key word there is “almost”. The way I see things, as long as Smithian gains from trade and Schumpeterian gains from innovation outpace statist stupidity, tomorrow’s trough will be higher than today’s peak.
– Peter Boettke
That would be a much more “glass-half-full” quote if the evidence of increasing statist stupidity wasn’t so obvious. Statist stupidity pretty much summed up the 20th Century. It ruined mighty Russia and her satellites, it kept Africa in starvation and misery, and who knows how many people it killed in China.
Not that things are much better in the 21st Century, or that we USAmericans are exempt from the label. The only bright spot for us is that we have, ostensibly, a mechanism for changing things if they get bad enough. But the system is pretty close to being fully rigged at this point.
Boettke goes on to say that it won’t be terrorist acts, disease, or disasters that will be are undoing (if we are to be undone). Rather, he says, it will be government usurpation of more and more of our fundamental liberties, in reaction to these events that will cause collapse. Smithian and Schumpeterian gains cannot abide in an atmosphere that is too heavily statist and stupid.
Also, this is the first time I’ve ever in my life typed the word “Schumpeterian”. And now I’ve done it thrice. Quite a red-letter day for me, this.