Again, I’m hearing increasing talk about managing the economy – specifically, I have people telling me that they don’t think the government is managing growth properly. Now, anyone reading here knows this statement is patently ridiculous – the government is not a management committee, and John Key is not the nations CEO.
However, this reminded me of a vision that an old work colleague had towards the end of 2010 in this article. A key point in this vision, which captures the increasing push towards such arbitrary management, is this:
The Glorious Leader displayed a humility belying his greatness when he announced that His Plan has been inspired by patriotic newspaper columnists and internet bloggers. The Glorious Leader said that these people are not blinded by the failed and discredited dogma of His asinine predecessors. “The baby and the bathwater both need to be thrown out because the baby grew from devil’s spawn and the bathwater has been poisoned”. “Shrewd columnists and internet bloggers acknowledge that the nation desperately needs my pragmatic and sensible guidance to allocate the nation’s resources in the right areas” the Glorious Leader said.
Like all good economics, this is an exaggeration, a caricature, of what is actually happening. But such extreme examples can make key points clear – namely that a determination to “pick winners” and “micromanage” the economy is folly. As has been shown repeatedly in the past – ultimately, such policies are the result of a mere illusion of control.