Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Grover Cleveland ? / The state cannot impose morality

I have discussed the worst US presidents on an earlier entry. The Club for Growth nominates Grover Cleveland as one of the BEST presidents :

On the revenue side, he lowered the protective tariff — the main instrument of taxation at the time — after years of Republican abuse. On spending, Cleveland was always frugal, once proclaiming that, “…under our scheme of government the waste of public money is a crime against the citizen.”


In fact, the guy was unrelenting. He vetoed more than twice as much legislation (584) than all of the previous presidents combined (216).

On monetary policy, he had no equal. Not only did he believe in a stable money supply through his unwavering support for the gold standard, but he arguably lost the White House after his first term because of it.

Honest, forceful, and blunt, Cleveland once said, “What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?”


Most people today don’t know who Grover Cleveland is. They don’t recognize the name and there’s no monument in Washington D.C. paying tribute to his memory. But I, for one, am deeply gratified that he stood at the helm of the American ship and kept it on course for 8 years. He deserves the recognition.

On Strike the Root, Marcel Votluckai tells us why the state could never offer a "moral economy" :

Yet there are rules in the marketplace. The question is whether a monopolistic State is the most efficient way to enforce them. A society and an economy based on theft, fraud, extortion, coercion, and violence would become totally dysfunctional. People have a natural aversion to chaos and therefore construct order around principles such as human/property rights. It's only with a powerful, wealthy government that people who abuse this system can get away with it with impunity--especially when the regulatory agencies are controlled by politically connected businesspeople and politicians who want political points. The State rewards the wealthy and incompetent while legitimate players suffer. Overall, if the State is like a referee, it's a corrupt one immersed in payola scams. Not to mention it's the only game in town; there are no other alternatives as would develop naturally in a free, open market.

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