Flaws of Mercantilism
“Mercantilism, which reached its height in the Europe of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was a system of statism which employed economic fallacy to build up a structure of imperial state power, as well as special subsidy and monopolistic privilege to individuals or groups favored by the state.”
Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) American Economist, Historian, Political Theorist and Author
Mercantilism is the partnering of government and private industry in an attempt to join the taxing power of government with the productivity and efficiency of industry. Sounds like a great model if it works. However, because of the conflicting structures of government and private industry, few if any exceptions to Mr. Rothbard’s description exist. And mercantilism is usually a disaster for the consumer. Accurate assessment of mercantilism is difficult, however, because once it is imposed; the private sector cannot compete independently and is soon absorbed or eliminated.
I was recently sent a letter-to-the-editor from the Nevada Daily Mail newspaper that illustrates the flaws of mercantilism and prompted me to write about its flaws. Written by Dr. Ron Jones and published in the September 1st edition, the letter provides information about the H1N1 virus (swine flu), how it has evolved, and the science and politics of treating it.
According to Dr. Jones, “
Alzheimer’s Disease, Gulf War Syndrome, certain autoimmune disorders, and Guillain-Barre syndrome have all been linked to chemical components frequently used in vaccines according to Dr. Jones. He recommends some safer treatments while questioning why the government is pushing vaccination.
Dr. Jones points out that “The National Institutes of Health and the military contractor Dyncorp co-own some vaccine patents. This seems an odd partnership, but not that odd in this day of government/business mergers. They stand to make a ton of money from this vaccination campaign.” Dr. Jones then claims that “the vaccine manufacturers have been given blanket immunity from prosecution over vaccine adverse effects…”
Mercantilism does not merge the best of public and private but the worst. A powerful natural constraint on free market misbehavior is the need to raise capitol. Without trust and integrity, capitol comes at a high price unless it can be raised from government where politics often trumps ethics and morality. Don’t fall victim to the myth of mercantilism. It combines the worst, not the best of both worlds. Murray Rothbard was correct that its principle effect is “…to build up a structure of imperial state power…and …privilege to