To The Adults On Christmas Day: No Santa Claus

December 25, 2009

by Mario Rizzo

As the healthcare bill moves quickly toward approval, we might contemplate the words of Ludwig von Mises:

From day to day it becomes more obvious that large-scale additions to the amount of public expenditure cannot be financed by “soaking the rich,” but that the burden must be carried by the masses. The traditional tax policy of the age of interventionism, its glorified devices of progressive taxation and lavish spending have been carried to a point at which their absurdity can no longer be concealed. The notorious principle that, whereas private expenditures depend on the size of income available, public revenues must be regulated according to expenditures, refutes itself. Henceforth, governments will have to realize that one dollar cannot be spent twice, and that the various items of government expenditure are in conflict with one another. Every penny of additional government spending will have to be collected from precisely those people who hitherto have been intent upon shifting the main burden to other groups. Those anxious to get subsidies will themselves have to foot the bill. (…)

An essential point in the social philosophy of interventionism is the existence of an inexhaustible fund which can be squeezed forever. The whole system of interventionism collapses when this fountain is drained off: The Santa Claus principle liquidates itself. (Human Action, Chapter XXXVI, p.858, emphasis added.)

As pleasant as it is to believe in Santa Claus, consider — as it is the Christmas season:

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11)

We now await all of the consequences unanticpated by the “boundedly rational” social engineers.

3 Responses to “To The Adults On Christmas Day: No Santa Claus”


  1. I don’t find it so hard to believe in Santa Claus. That the rent-seeking, power mad, thieving dunces in government could be Santa, now that’s impossible.

    Merry Christmas.

  2. Lester Hunt Says:

    This is yet another example of Mises saying something that seems even more true today than when he said it.

  3. Mario Rizzo Says:

    Lester,

    That seems to be the case quite often these days.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: