Dane Smith: Public sector key to free enterprise

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  • Updated: July 29, 2010 - 6:40 PM
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pdxtranJul. 29, 10 7:31 PM

are equally valuable to grocers, restaurant owners, and others who sell merchandise or services directly to the public. Do supermarkets care whether its shoppers are paid by the private sector or the government? No, they care only that the shoppers keep coming in and buying. Do restaurant owners care where their customers' paychecks come from? No, they care only that the customers keep coming in and ordering meals.

You could lower business taxes to 0%, and it wouldn't induce business owners to hire, not if there were no customers. What business owner is going to hire employees to stand around and do nothing when there are no customers?

If government workers (teachers, police, firefighters, military personnel, etc.) keep buying in the local retail sector, that's a good thing.

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common74Jul. 29, 10 7:44 PM

To some extent this is true. Not to the extent of our government and the deficit spending to government employees who don't work in the welfare state. If you tax a business a dollar, pay two dollars out in government expenses, and borrow the remainder, how does that create long term growth? If you double business taxes, you are effectively subsidizing unproductive government entitlement expenses, a fraction of which makes its way back to your business. The efficient use of capital is to reduce taxes, reinvest in the private sector in productive uses, and grow the economy. Your example of gov workers is appropriate. The expenses to entitlement programs are not...

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wunderdudeJul. 29, 10 8:53 PM

The level of ignorance and economic illiteracy here is astounding. I can only some it up using Dane Smith's own words: 'Governments imposed compulsory, universal and 'free' public schooling."

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wunderdudeJul. 29, 10 8:54 PM

Too late.

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rockpile12Jul. 29, 10 9:26 PM

OK, most people including Libertarians acknowledge there is a valid role and place for government. And yes they fulfill very important functions in our society. Common sense Americans beef with government is more about its rate of growth and its encroachment on individual freedoms. Government is the KEY to free enterprise? That's a bit of a stretch.

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pdxtranJul. 29, 10 9:34 PM

they're willing to keep, and they say, "The military and the police." In other words, the most coercive aspects of government. In other words, they want America to be like Third World countries where there are no public services and the cops and army beat up and kill anyone who complains about working 72 hours a week for pennies an hour.

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pdxtranJul. 29, 10 9:38 PM

You mean like Social Security, which keeps seniors able to buy things? You mean like unemployment benefits, which provide a pittance for people who have lost their jobs? You mean like disability payments? All of these go back into the private economy as the recipients buy things. If you're really opposed to entitlements, I hope you have the integrity to turn them down if/when you become eligible.

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patrickjdJul. 29, 10 9:47 PM

Free markets want the public sector (government) involved only when absolutely necessary. That's the key which opens the door towards prosperity. Growth and Justice is a left wing organization founded by former Star Tribune publisher and editor Joel Kramer. At the very least it strives to put socialist ideals on an equal footing with free markets. Think Greece.

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stephenkrizJul. 29, 10 9:57 PM

Craig Westover's column displays the selfish immaturity and naivete you hear from modern libertarians like Rand Paul. Westover is oblivious to the fact that businesses are only able to thrive because society (call it government, if you want) makes certain rules and provides enabling goods and services for which there is no profit motive. Regarding rules, would you want to watch, let alone play in a football game that had no rules? It would be anarchy and nothing would get accomplished. Would you want to invest in a company that followed no accounting rules or issued securities based on unaudited financial statements? We used to have that sort of business environment and it contributed to the Great Depression. Government also enables and supports a complex society like we live in now. We aren't all ranchers in 1860 living on the prairies of Wyoming where there is no real need for government. We live in a highly complex, interconnected society where we rely on interstate highways, public water and sewer services, police and fire departments that aren't provided by for-profit companies because there is no profit motive in doing so.

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themostancieJul. 30, 1012:16 AM

If it isn't, then Yemen and Somalia should be booming - no government, lots of guns, plenty of faith-based initiatives...

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