Economics has a reputation for being a dismal science in part because it highlights the ways in which various utopian schemes are impractical or impossible (Sandra Peart and David Levy point out that its also because some of the early classical economists made radical claims about the equality of all men, but thats not my focus here). The last refuge of the interventionist defeated at every turn by the laws of supply and demand is to say that while his or her program might have unintended consequences, it makes a statement about the kind of society we live in.
Interventions make statements, to be sure, but they arent statements to be proud of. In the case of various forms of interference with the marketminimum wages, redistribution, price controls, immigration restrictions, and so onthe messages are unmistakable and unflattering.
|William Arthur ("Art") Carden is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, and Assistant Professor of Economics at Samford University.|