Joe Scarlett: Let the free market live

Monday, August 16, 2010 at 12:58am
By Joe Scarlett

Our free marketplace is not perfect and never will be. But it is the most spectacular wealth-generating machine in the history of the world.

No one likes what has happened to our economy recently, but we should never forget that wealth is created by individuals and businesses — not government. Our systems of economic freedom, innovation and entrepreneurship will continue to generate powerful, long-term growth — as long as we don’t mess it up.

Our nation was founded on principles of freedom that include limited government and maximum personal rights. We cherish our right to freely pursue any legal business opportunity with minimal government restriction.

More government regulation only means a higher cost to do business, which translates to consumers paying higher prices for goods and services. Attempting to regulate ourselves to perfection will only lead to paralysis.

Right now, we can still try any “wild and crazy” idea for a new product or service, as long as we don’t violate the various laws and regulations. Often it is these very wild and crazy ideas that lead to innovation and wealth creation.

Suppose you have an interesting idea about a new product. You borrow a little money, buy some raw materials, assemble your product and then sell it. Most ideas fail, but let’s say yours works. Next you rent a building, lease some equipment and hire an engineer, a few production folks, an accountant and a salesperson. You are creating a product for customers, employing a half-dozen people and generating wealth that you will likely reinvest in your growing start-up business.

As this scenario demonstrates, wealth is created by individuals and businesses, not government. But government can redistribute wealth. The more we borrow to redistribute (to be paid back by future taxes), the more we increase taxes and impose additional regulations, which in turn discourage our entrepreneurial spirit. The more the government takes and regulates, the less incentive individuals have to innovate and produce.

The unintended consequences of government oversight and regulation are often beyond comprehension. After the Enron scandals, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was supposed to prevent all sorts of monkey business. Yet after just a few years, we had the Bernie Madoff scandal and the big-banking meltdown. And on top of that, American business is now forced to spend billions annually in compliance costs, and that has made our country just a little bit less competitive in the global market. Government oversight inevitably slows and sometimes paralyzes the very businesses it is intending to help.

Our capitalist system makes big mistakes but also creates incredible wealth. The continual process of business failures and bankruptcies are key ingredients in the process because from the ruins capital is redeployed where it can be more productive. In addition, failures are learning tools that help inspire new ideas and new businesses.

The current march toward greater government regulation is also a march toward business mediocrity. The more complex the oversight, the slower our great wealth-generating machine operates. People come from everywhere to participate in our economy because they see greater opportunity here than in their own countries. Free people and free markets generate the ideas that have made our economy the envy of the world. Our politicians should be encouraging those free markets and minimizing business regulations and controls.

Our collective objective should be to support and encourage ethical and transparent business and industry. We do have the best economic system in the world, and no matter what has happened recently, we should never forget how we achieved such success in the first place.

Joe Scarlett is the retired chairman of Tractor Supply Co. and founder of the Scarlett Leadership Institute at Belmont University

143 Comments on this post:

By: brrrrk on 8/16/10 at 3:01

Blanketnazi2 said

"brrrrk, i celebrate the pastafarian faith myself! long live the flying spaghetti monster! praise be to his tomato noodlidge!"

You will know me by my garlic breathe..... and the subtle FSM stickers on my car. :-)

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:02

subtle? must be - you haven't been run out of town, huh? LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 3:02

Amy

11/06/2002

Bush Sends Ramadan Greeting to Muslims Around the World
Says Muslim values shared by other faiths in U.S.

Following is the text of Bush's Ramadan greeting:
http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2002/November/20021106094816Kurata@pd.state.gov0.1797296.html

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:02

have you ever seen the bumper sticker, "Eve was framed"? LOL

By: house_of_pain on 8/16/10 at 3:04

Parmesan be unto you.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 3:04

Shoe sucking troll
http://www.crazymac.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/peanut.gif

By: yogiman on 8/16/10 at 3:05

Any, don't think Palin is the one for the job? How about a man named Herman Cain? He is a radio-talk show host in Atlanta on station 750 WSB. His shows are M-F 7-10PM EST.This man is a former corporate executive and CEO and still sets on the Board of Directors of several corporations.

You can read a lot of his articles on WorldNetDaily.com, usually each Monday for them.

By: brrrrk on 8/16/10 at 3:05

Blanketnazi2 said

"subtle? must be - you haven't been run out of town, huh? LOL"

No sense in inviting a boiling in my own pasta water.... I keep it that sh*t on the down low, my bra-tha. :-)

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:08

i hear ya, my friend.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:09

and my you always have olive oil in your kitchen and your children be fed noodles, house.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:10

Our Pasta, who "Arghh" in the colander, Swallowed be thy sauce. Thy serving come, Thy strands be wrung, On forks as they are on spoons. Give us this day our garlic bread, And forgive us our starchiness, As we swashbuckle, splice the main-brace and cuss, And lead us not into Kraft parmessan, But deliver us from Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, For thine are Meatballs, and the beer, and the strippers, for ever and ever. R'Amen.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:15

Hail meatsauce, full of beef. The Spaghetti Monster is with you. Blessed are you among sauces, and blessed is the spice from your shaker. Heated meatsauce, monster of taste, pray for us non-pirates now and at the hour of our hunger. R'Amen

By: AmyLiorate on 8/16/10 at 3:18

I like Hermain Cain. Well, I've only heard him on the radio a couple of times, but based on what I've heard Cain is good. Does he favor the US as world police?

Palin is just a character. She had a moment but it has passed. I see a pretty face and a few good quips, I never thought about voting for her. First I'd have to have gotten over McCain. Sarah may have things down pretty well Yogi but would you listen to her talk? I never hear her go in depth on anything.

If she could show a solid comprehension then maybe I could support her. Compare Palin and Judge Napolitano... who really has substance?

Alas, maybe we are doomed to see her on the ballot. America does like a pretty face.

By: house_of_pain on 8/16/10 at 3:20

"On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese..."

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:20

America lacks substance.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:25

lol, house!

By: brrrrk on 8/16/10 at 3:25

AmyLiorate said

"Sarah may have things down pretty well Yogi but would you listen to her talk? I never hear her go in depth on anything."

She's the queen of the run on sentence with no point (substantive or literal) in sight... she makes my head hurt just listening to her.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:27

you know the brainfreeze you get when you eat something really cold too fast? that's what it feels like for me when i hear her voice.

By: brrrrk on 8/16/10 at 3:32

Blanketnazi2 said

"you know the brainfreeze you get when you eat something really cold too fast? that's what it feels like for me when i hear her voice."

ROFLMAO .... exactly!!! Who would have thought that Sarah and a Slurpy would have something in common?

By: Loner on 8/16/10 at 3:32

Congrats, House and BN....may the spirit of 4:20 be with youse both.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:34

i seriously like my slushy better than Sarah.

thanks, Loner!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:35

the other day i sipped too much of my slushy and got the brainfreeze and thought "damn, is Palin on TV again?"

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 3:39

Food for thought.

http://www.leonardcohenforum.com/download/file.php?id=4472

http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/gja0363l.jpg

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 3:42

Amy

http://www.newsbleat.com/bush_kiss.jpg

By: yogiman on 8/16/10 at 3:43

Amy,
Palin is like other s deep into politics. They usually get cut off on an answer when the announcer asks them another question before they can finish the last one.

Her biggest fault was to resign from the governor's office. If she would quit that job, what's to make us think she won't quit the president's job if something comes up she doesn't like?

Bottom line is; she ain't no stupid woman, and I'll bet my farm she is a legal natural born citizen.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/16/10 at 3:47

have a good night, yous guys.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 3:49

Casualties of the September 11 attacks included a total of 2,976 fatalities (excluding the 19 terrorist hijackers): 246 on the four planes (from which there were no survivors), 2,605 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon.[1][2] An additional 24 people remain listed as missing.[3] All of the fatalities in the attacks were civilians except for 55 military personnel killed at the Pentagon.[4] More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks on the World Trade Center.[5] In 2007, the New York City medical examiner's office added Felicia Dunn-Jones to the official death toll from the September 11 attacks. Dunn-Jones died five months after 9/11 from a lung condition which was linked to exposure to dust during the collapse of the World Trade Center.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_September_11_attacks

By: brrrrk on 8/16/10 at 3:50

yogiman said

"Bottom line is; she ain't no stupid woman"

Riiiiight, isn't this the same woman who left college in Hawaii because "Asians made her uncomfortable"? What did she think when she went to school there?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 3:50

Later Blanket

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 3:55

We need to remember that yoigman has got his eyes closed to reality.

http://gadesha.web-log.nl/photos/uncategorized/2009/01/30/webyogiman.jpg

By: brrrrk on 8/16/10 at 3:58

And besides that, aren't Eskimos of Asian descent? On the other hand, Alaska had a history of treating Eskimos much like Blacks were treated in the lower 48....

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 3:59

brrrrk I have to wonder if the far right is this stupid or is it just an act for attention.

By: yogiman on 8/16/10 at 4:03

Captain Nemo,
Funny is in the brain of the beholder. If nothing is as serious as you would wish, you should understand, only those with a sense of humor know how to laugh. And you get too many more wrinkles frowning than you do laughing. I'd rather look handsome in my later years.

Yes, I said Security Officer when working at the prison. They had just changed the title to Correctional Officer before I went to work there. We're talking (or writing) about over half a century ago. At that time, jobs were hard to find. Hell, I'd call in anything to get one back then. Quite a bit like it is today. The Correctional Officers were in prison for the security of the prisoners. We weren't there to correct them for anything. We felt the courts had already done that. And unless you have been in there, you must out think those inmates. That's where I got my nickname. They couldn't out think me. Of course, I was younger and smarter back then. How about you?

And, hell yes, I have already paid every thing I made back then in taxes... plus more. How about you? Are you up to date on your taxes? Did you pay your fair share?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 4:06

Sure you are yogi.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 4:10

Here is a list of security guard companies in Atlanta.

.http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=atlanta+security+guard+companies&fb=1&gl=us&hq=security+guard+companies&hnear=Atlanta,+GA&view=text&ei=wbZpTJiQMsH48Aa2rYm2BA&sa=X&oi=local_group&ct=more-results&resnum=1&ved=0CDoQtQMwAA

By: brrrrk on 8/16/10 at 4:11

Captain Nemo said

"brrrrk I have to wonder if the far right is this stupid or is it just an act for attention."

The thing is, I take the right at their word when they say that they represent "real" America... a "real" America that is of a white, Christian, authoritarian world view. But the world, whether they choose to believe it or not, is changing. They may end up with one last chance at control within the next few years, but I predict that the results will be so disastrous that they may end up losing control for decades.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 4:14

Here is how you become a correction officer, yogi.
http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/Help.html

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 4:17

I agree brrrk. The world is changing and the conservative far right fears that above all things. There power is eroding and they know that they will become second class citizen and be treated just as they have treated others.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/16/10 at 4:19

Good night brrrk. Sleep tight and don't let the bed-yogis bite.

By: Loner on 8/17/10 at 5:14

Should we continue here, on the Scarlett letter, or go to Molly Secours thread, it's fresh.... What's your pleasure?

By: budlight on 8/17/10 at 6:28

capt. thanks for the stats on 9-11 victims. Do you know the religous preference of those people? Besides the 50 muslims?

OK, garden update. A lady cam for free veggies/herbs and brought 9 year old daughter; WOW! The light in that child's eyes over picking and eating fresh raspberries made the entire garden effort, water, weeding, work all worth it.

GARDEN is deceased due to inclement weather and inclement gardener.

By: Kosh III on 8/17/10 at 8:23

"There power is eroding and they know that they will become second class citizen and be treated just as they have treated others."

Being "Christian" they realize that do unto others as you would have them do unto them also applies when they have done unto others very badly.

It really is about a desperate attempt to retain power and undo all the good of the past 60 years. To achieve this goal, they will say anything, do anything. They care nothing about the good of the country or the good of other citizens, only their own power and money.

By: JohnGalt on 8/17/10 at 1:03

Is Loner a former USPS employee?