Comment 30853

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2009 at 19:08:46

JonC >> when those with the greatest aptitude to become doctors or teachers or economists or mechanics or whatever attain training, all of society benefits.

What is your point? That because I benefit from your education, that I must be forced to pay for it. That's like saying that I should be forced to pay pretty women for their gym membership, because I benefit from their beauty. Your logic is all messed up.

>> no capitalist countries have ever had failed economies.

Countries that limit government's role to basically enforcing contracts, protecting private property rights and otherwise protecting people's liberty do not have failed economies, you're right.

>> France has high government spending (over 60% of GDP) and how did it fare? Much in the way of an economic legacy to the world.

In the past six years it's GDP has grown at an average of 1.75%, so big government doesn't seem to be working so well. Combine that with rigid labour laws and you have an economy that is lacking in innovation and flexibility. However, for most of France's history, taxation was a fraction of what it is today, so extrapolating today's France with historical France may be overreaching a bit.

>> Compare that to Haiti,

Haiti does have low government spending, but it also a long history of repressive and corrupt governments, hardly a bastion of economic freedom. To be clear then, besides limited government intervention in the economy, countries and communities need their governments to fear them and not the other way around.

>> If a lack of government spending is so important, how do you explain all these important inventions that came from an economy with more than 60% government spending? It's as if you have no clue what your talking about.

As recently as 1978, according to the OECD, French government spending was only 43% of GDP, 10 points lower than today. If you can show me any numbers from before this period, showing higher spending, I would like to take a look at them. It's likely that government spending was much lower for most of France's economic history, but I don't have the numbers to prove that. Then again neither do you, so your opinion is just that.

One positive thing about France is that it lets its people buy private health insurance, on top of publicly funded health care, unlike Canada.

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