The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell asks, can you name a nation with interventionism and big government that is outperforming a similar nation with free markets and small government?
1. Can you name a nation that became rich with statist policies?
Before you say Sweden, or even France, note that I asked you to name a nation that became rich during a period when it followed policies of interventionism and big government. Countries in Western Europe became rich during the 1800s and early 1900s when government was very small. Indeed, government spending consumed only about 10 percent of economic output in Western Europe prior to World War I and there was almost no redistribution. That’s more libertarian than what you find today in places such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
Speaking of which, what I’m really asking my leftist friends is that they give me the left-wing versions of Hong Kong and Singapore. These jurisdictions were relatively impoverished at the end of World War II, but they are now both very rich by global standards. And libertarians and other advocates of small government and free markets can make a very strong case that good policy played a role in their amazing rise to prosperity.
So where’s the role model for statists? What nation can they put forth as a successful example?
I won’t hold my breath waiting for an accurate answer.
Now for the other part of the challenge.
Read more here.