Thursday, March 12, 2009

Can't find a cartoonist with a brain?

Very few newspapers today have the luxury of on-staff cartoonists.
Because there are, though, plenty of cartoonists, it would seem even a small-market publication such as the Chattanooga Times Free Press, specifically the left-wing side, the Times, could find a cartoonist who knew something besides how to draw.
Maybe the company just hasn't made the effort. Certainly the previous cartoonist, Bruce Plante, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, was sorely lacking in knowledge of economics or political morality.
The current holder of the position, Clay Bennett, knows nothing about economics or how government should deal with the economy, though he is a good stylist.
For example, his cartoon of Thursday, 12 March, shows a burning building, labeled "economy," with firefighters hosing it down, and bystanders saying, "Just look at all the water they're wasting."
As one would expect with the Times, Mr. Bennett has everything backward. A better equivalent would be firefighters squirting gasoline onto a burning building, or pouring water onto someone drowning.
What is wrong with the economy is, in fact, government intervention, government coercion, government spending, government restrictions on a genuinely free market.
If Mr. Bennett is drawing from his own misunderstanding of the world, shame on him; if he is drawing according to orders from his bosses, shame on him and shame on them.
The United States economy could be improved if government, meaning politicians and bureaucrats, would get out of the way, remove the obstacles to starting and running businesses and factories, and let the free market operate, which means grow.
A reminder: Politicians are like cockroaches: It's not what they steal and carry away; it's what they fall into and mess up.

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