In the pre-dawn darkness of a chilly LA morning, my day started off with a chuckle. A friend in the reforestation business sent me an email detailing the US Department of Agriculture’s new ‘Christmas Tree’ tax that was approved yesterday. I thought it was a joke. It wasn’t.
One can only laugh at the absurdity of the government getting involved in such a matter. But it’s happening more and more.
Throughout history, countries that passed this point of no return soon defaulted on their debts, entered into extended periods of severe inflation, or both. This is nothing new– the idea of a government going bankrupt is practically as old as the concept of government itself.
Along the way as they slide down the slippery slope of economic calamity, governments typically hit the accelerator by resorting to financial repression; rather than making the economy open and attractive to talented people and investment capital, they instead confiscate, inflate, and overregulate.