Foreword to: Let’s All Learn How To Fish … To Sustain Long-Term Economic Growth by Michael S. Falk

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Not a day goes by without us hearing how miserable the state of the economy is. It is not really true—more people are living far above subsistence than at any other time in the history of the world—but a lot of things do need improvement. Poverty is and, seemingly, always will be with us. Governments are stretched to their limits in providing services that the people demand but will not or cannot pay for. The environment and infrastructure present long-term challenges. Much of this misery is the result of bad policies. Some of the policies are well intentioned and arise from what author and entrepreneur Gary Hoover calls “misguided sympathy.”

They are designed to help people but destroy incentives to work and replace them with incentives to draw on the fruits of others’ labor. Other policies are less well intentioned and are designed to help only those people pursuing the policies; economists call this practice “rent seeking.” Enough misguided sympathy and rent seeking and you can destroy an economy and a civilization. We are not there yet, and we had better not get there.

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