Today’s N&O features an article that focuses on North Carolina’s poverty problem. The article was written by the director of the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity and the executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
Preceding the rundown of poverty-related statistics is this phrase:
Our charge is not only to rebuild an economy…
This phrase exemplifies the faulty mindset of wanna-be central planners and “social justice” champions. To depict the “economy” as a sort of machine that “we” can “rebuild” reveals why left-wing economic policies always end poorly (pun intended).
Indeed, the “economy” – or more properly understood, the market – is not a mechanical device with unchanging parts that must be arranged together according to an instruction manual. Rather, the market is a process of human interaction and co-operation in which entrepreneurs compete with one another in order to arrange scarce resources to produce goods and services that satisfy consumer needs at an agreeable price. This process involves constant adjustments on behalf of both producers and consumers, with the price of said scarce resources and finished products being the primary coordinating signal.
A basic understanding of the “economy” should be established before any serious recommendations are made regarding the alleviation of poverty. I wrote just two days ago about the state’s Poverty Reduction Committee – which no doubt received input from the UNC Center on Poverty – and their misguided recommendations.
North Carolina will never truly alleviate its poverty problem without first understanding the market process and wealth creation; a task state leaders and left-wing policy shops seem tragically unwilling to accept.