Letter: Subsidy-free markets would free our mindsI have finally figured out my political stripes. Maybe it’s a case of “late onset insight,” as I am often admonished by my friends for learning things that they claim to have understood in grade school.
By: Jeff Horner, town of River Falls, River Falls Journal
I have finally figured out my political stripes. Maybe it’s a case of “late onset insight,” as I am often admonished by my friends for learning things that they claim to have understood in grade school.
That being said, I am a ‘Free Market Progressive.’ I believe that free markets provide the opportunity for all people to choose, based upon their knowledge of the market in question.
Clearly, consumers need clear and accurate information in order to make a wise decision on any purchase. For free markets to function, this knowledge must be readily available.
A key factor in our recent economic crisis was the secrecy and delusional complexity of the investments that were improperly rated and sold to unsuspecting ‘investors’ (chumps!).
Our current markets work overtime to mislead and confuse consumers. This creates less than optimal efficiency in use of goods, services and resources, and also fills our landfills with lots of crap.
The more insidious aspect of our current economic system is that many markets are actually subsidized by our government through tax breaks, incentives and overall expenditures.
Take corn. Big farmers are subsidized to grow tons of corn which finds its way in to all our food and is a key component in our obesity epidemic.
Would I buy my big house if I didn’t get a tax break on the mortgage? Should my meager investment income be taxed at less than my wages? The list of subsidized industries is very long and pervasive.
We could have a much flatter tax code if we eliminated or thoughtfully restructured our tax expenditures. We then could better judge, as consumers, which policies make sense and which benefit a select few.
We might even be more likely to determine which politicians are truthful? Maybe not!