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The Intellectual Activist - An Objectivist Review

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An Individualist Plan for Rebuilding
Here is one of the best suggestions I have heard for how government can really aid the rebuilding in Louisiana and Mississippi--not by providing massive federal handouts or doling out $2,000 debit cards, but by cutting federal and state taxes to free up the capital and energy of the entrepreneurs who will actually rebuild the local economy.

What is even more striking, while most of the commentary at National Review has wallowed in the conventional altruist morality--including a truly awful piece yesterday, urging help and sympathy for the _criminals_ of New Orleans--this piece dares to suggest that self-interest might be a legitimate motive and that rebuilding requires the production of wealth, not its sacrifice.

TIA Daily can suggest another measure to go along with this idea: how about suspending the impenetrable tangle of federal regulations? How much more quickly would businesses rebuild, if they had to worry about a hundred thousand fewer pages of environment regulations, for example? This is an opportunity to show that the unfettered action of producers is the real "safety net" that helps us recover from disaster.

"Tax Cuts in the Age of Katrina," John Tamny, National Review Online, September 9

"A common misconception about the rebirth of Germany and Japan post-WWII is that aid under the US Marshall Plan led the recoveries in each nation. In truth, according to a study by George Mason professor Tyler Cowen, the 'German Miracle' actually began with tax cuts, before money from the United States arrived.... [A]s history has shown repeatedly around the world, no amount of federal aid or charity will fix Louisiana and Mississippi. The 'fix' in both states will result from the arrival of audacious, and yes, self-interested entrepreneurs eager to make money in return for rebuilding the blighted areas in both states. Federal income taxes should be kept down so that the cost of entrepreneurship is kept to a minimum.... Rather than heed the call of the New York Times for austerity and 'sacrifice,' Louisiana and Mississippi...should make it clear that effective effort will not be punished and cut taxes as much as possible."

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