• On this day in 1851, Isaac Singer was granted Patent No. 8294 for his sewing machine.
• Also on this day, Henry Ford built the first Model T. (The first production Model T was built on September 27 [or October 1], 1908, at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan, a plant secretly built by Ford in 1906.)
• Finally, on this day in 1981, IBM first released the IBM PC. (The Hewlett-Packard 9100A was the world's first personal computer, first appearing in 1968. The cost was about $5,000. or $30,000 in today's money.)
If Osama bin Laden were to figure out a way to disable all of America's cars, computers, and appliances like sewing machines, his attack would be deemed a "national emergency" and a "national security crisis." Dozens of "Executive Orders" would go into effect giving the federal government nearly complete control over the economy in order to "restore the Free Market."
One might even agree that Osama's actions would constitute a grave threat to our "national security" even without his firing a single shot, hijacking any planes, or detonating any bombs. There can be no doubt that automobiles, computers, and appliances are vital for the "American way of life." Three hundred million Americans would quickly be thrown into poverty without them. All Americans -- and the rest of the world -- lived in poverty before capitalism.
But if these things are so important, why didn't Congress pass a law bringing these critical inventions into existence? Why did we have to wait for the unpredictable vicissitudes of the Market? Why didn't Congress step up to bat decades sooner to end poverty?
Most Americans might correctly answer that Congress doesn't have the power to end poverty the way Capitalism did, but they don't know why this is true. Americans don't understand why Capitalism is creative and productive, and why Government can only forcibly redistribute the fruits of capitalism. Government cannot lead, but can only follow, and never keep up. Capitalism grows from an acorn into a mighty oak; government is a parasite that sucks the lifeblood out of the oak until it dies.
If Congress could not have passed a law creating the computer, automobile and labor-saving devices, why do we believe it can pass a law which will protect all these vital inventions and "save capitalism from itself" through "New Deal" regulations?
Government efforts to "reduce poverty" create more poverty. Capitalism's efforts to increase wealth -- even when capitalists are oblivious to the poor -- eliminate poverty.