The Richmond Register

Viewpoints

December 22, 2013

Yes, Kentucky: The free market really works

FRANKFORT —

What do Mimi Pickering, Pope Francis and big-government politicians fervently committed to ideas proven unworkable have in common? They claim: We tried private, free enterprise and it didn’t work. 

The pope unleashes fire and brimstone toward those who “continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.”

Then, he says such belief “has never been confirmed by the facts.” 

Of course, such sermons ignore the tremendous impact of Nobel laureate Milton Friedman’s monetary policies on Chile, all of Latin America and other nations in the latter 20th century which not only resulted in more economic freedom but also helped turn dictatorships into democracies. 

Perhaps His Holiness should stick to reminding everyone about that first Christmas – when some gold “trickled down” from the Wise Men to Mary and Joseph, allowing them to make the long, costly trip to Egypt to escape King Herod’s tyranny. 

With today’s technology, Joseph could have dialed “911” and the cops on their camels would have arrived before you could say “there’s an unstable, murderous king on the loose.” 

And just like the pope is right in calling Christians to be more charitable, Pickering, a Whitesburg filmmaker, correctly observed in a recent Lexington Herald-Leader op-ed that the people of Appalachia would receive more accessible and affordable Internet service if there were additional providers and more competition. 

Then, like the pope who blames free markets for poverty and income gaps, she follows up with a totally unsubstantiated claim: “The private sector is not providing the Internet services we need.” 

But how else do you get more competition than by getting rid of outdated regulations and out of the private sector’s way? 

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