Lies, Damn Lies, and Political Campaigns

Just in case anyone has missed it, CBS recently showed some documents which were clearly forged. In the last week we have heard the discussion of whether this was or was not a forgery, and how the blogosphere, as a decentralized medium, was able to point out CBS's error so quickly. That leaves the most important thing to talk about, and I am very surprised that none of the Hayekians have mentioned it. This whole forgery business is a symptom of too much political power.

In The Road to Serfdom Hayek discusses how increased socialism leads to worse leaders, and how power mad tyrants rise to the top. It is a simple progression, as the centralized government gains more political power, the more the citizenry sees themselves at odds with their fellow citizens. Where a free market will bid up prices for things in high demand and thus encourage some consumers to willingly do without and encourage producers to increase production, a centrally controlled market must allocate by some other means, often with the result that some will go without and others will get far more than they might otherwise need. In this particular case, will it be Bush's cronies or Kerry's cronies who get all the cookies? For the person who sees himself as only being able to be economically well off if his politician wins, then the perceived benefits of being fraudulent increase, and the perceived benefits of being honest decrease. It should not be any surprise that politicians and their handlers lie.

Hayek was absolutely correct in The Road to Serfdom, and our own half-baked socialism is providing solid empirical evidence in support of his thesis. Fortunately, the whole forged documents thing is also pointing out that liberty is where the real power is.

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