When we talk about government policies destroying wealth, we usually mean taxes that shift money from efficient to inefficient uses. Rarely do we mean the deliberate destruction of valuable assets. Yet, thanks to the Cash for Clunkers program, which ground to a halt yesterday, we now have a visual aid to help with this abstract concept. Mechanics tasked with destroying the so-called clunkers have been posting the videos on YouTube, often muttering in anger as they fill the engines of perfectly good Corvettes and Cadillacs with sodium silicate and then run them until they self-destruct. The goal of the Cash for Clunkers policy is, literally, the destruction of wealth.
In an article headlined “Cuba’s leaders see private farmers as key to saving socialism,” the St. Petersburg Times reports that the Communist government is relying on capitalism to dig itself out of an $11 billion deficit.