Senator Ben Sasse (R, NE) opined in the Friday Wall Street Journal about economic disruptions and how we’re undergoing the largest one in human history. However, he exposed a number of misunderstandings about both disruptions and about proper policy responses the current one (stipulating that it’s the largest one in human history, but its size is irrelevant to the principle involved). For instance:
[W]e don’t have a national-security strategy for the age of cyberwarfare and jihad.
This isn’t a matter of disruption per se, though. Defense establishments always have to adapt to new strategies and weapons systems. Even political disruption which he laid off to the 17th century’s invention of nation-states isn’t all that with today’s failed states and network entities like the terrorists Daesh and al Qaeda. What did that Treaty of Westphalia of invent away from after all? Political entities built around clans, principalities, networked entities like the feudal, often marriage-related polities.
We also lack seriousness about tackling the entitlement crisis.
True enough. However, this, too, isn’t about responding to disruption per se. A return to small, limited government handles this by putting solutions to the putative purpose of Big Government entitlement largesse back where it belongs: in the hands of American individuals and our families, friends, churches, and private charities. Government does have a role here, even a properly small, limited government, but only from the bottom jurisdictions up, and only as a last resort, not the default entry.
And what about the policy implications of the economic disruption?
Again, this has nothing to do with disruption per se. That return to small, limited government would handle this, just fine, including Sasse’s concerns regarding education and job (re)training. Big Government involvement, especially here, is routinely obstructive.
[O]ur politics are not yet up to the challenge.
Nor need they be; this is Sasse’s underlying false premise. What is needed is more laissez faire and less Big Government fare.