(One of) The Big Lie(s)

A good fisking by Robert Higgs, via The Independent Institute:

As soon as I saw the headline of an August 10 article by financial columnist Peter Cohan, I knew that something was terribly wrong. It reads: “How did the politics of small government lead to big government bailouts?” This is akin to asking, How did the extinction of the elephants lead to Barack Obama’s election as president? If you make a claim of the form “A caused B,” but A never happened, then you are wasting your time by delving into the historical details of this bogus relationship.

Yet we continue to see one example after another of what suspicious readers may be tempted to view as the Big Lie that deregulation or other obliging government measures caused the present economic mess. I won’t go so far as to characterize this claim as a Big Lie. Although some of its purveyors, acting out of partisan motives, surely know that they are blowing smoke, others may simply suffer from economic ignorance, analytical confusion, or loss of historical memory. In any event, the public is ill-served by commentators who purport to speak with authority about our current economic troubles and related government’s policies, yet peddle this worse-than-sophomoric tale.

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