I have posted today a new piece on Northwood University’s blog, “In Defense of Capitalism & Human Progress,” with the title “America’s Fiscal Folly and the Squandering of the ‘Reserve Fund’.”
I discuss the disastrous trends in taxing, spending and borrowing in the United States that are threatening the country’s economic future. I especially warn that current fiscal trends are seriously eating way at what Austrian Economist, Ludwig von Mises, referred to as the “reserve fund” of the market society: the productive “surplus” generated in excess of the scarce resources needed to maintain a society’s capital and existing standards of living. It is the “surplus” from which comes new investment and capital formation, technological innovation, and therefore, rising standards of living over time through the production of more, better, and new products for the consuming public.
I explain that in 1930 Mises had shown how in the interwar Austria of his time, governments in his native land had so burdened the Austrian economy with taxes, spending, deficit financing, and regulations and restrictions on Austrian private enterprise that not only was this reserve fund eaten up by government, but part of the “seed corn” as well. That is Austrian fiscal mismanagement resulted in capital consumption. Standards of living fell due to the private sector’s inability to maintain the society’s capital supply.
And if current trends are not stopped, and indeed reversed, this might be America’s dismal future, too, at some point.