Stifling competition or stimulating efficiencies

An executive order was issued that restricted government contracts to union labor. There is pressure in the ‘stimulus’ bill for “American only” materials. Both of these actions artificially stifle competition by limiting the choices that can be made in the purchase of goods and service.

On the other hand, reports are that companies such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, and McDonalds are not receding but rather increasing sales. Worker productivity in the country as a whole has increased as many companies shed jobs and refocus their efforts on efficiencies and effectiveness.

What is it that makes the U.S. wealthy? Wealth is a result of being able to produce more with less. When that happens, food is less expensive, goods are less expensive, and people have more stuff to make their lives more comfortable and more healthy. The U.S. is wealthy because it has learned how to produce more with less and to be able to do this better than anyone else.

The recent economic brouhaha has, so far, been mostly a devaluation in the price of land and corporations. That makes a lot of people feel worse off because the dollar value for what they own in these areas has shrunk. They need to remember that they still own the same thing and to think about what that means over time. The actual value is in the ability of the land and the corporations to produce. Land produces living and working space. Corporations produce goods and services. As long as the living and working gets better and the production of goods becomes more efficient and less expensive, the value of owning land and corporations will remain.

It is said that the people of the U.S. have claimed a need for change. There is a choice. Is that change to be towards limiting competition and restricting available resources or is it to be towards an open market that will allow searching out improved efficiencies and effectiveness? That is the choice being faced as the politicians clamor to ‘solve the economic crisis’ and fix all our problems.

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