The UN General Assembly of world leaders in New York last week was, as usual, an unproductive fiasco. Iran's President launched into an offensive tirade in which he claimed that most of the world believed 9/11 was an inside job.
Obama gave an eloquent speech but included statements like:
I have had no greater focus as President than rescuing our economy from potential catastrophe... We are reforming our system of global finance, beginning with Wall Street reform here at home, so that a crisis like this never happens again.
"Rescuing" the economy? If anyone does "rescue" the economy, it will be entrepreneurs -- not politicians. “Never happens again?” there will always be booms and busts. Sarbanes Oxley didn’t prevent this one and Obama’s new regulations won’t prevent the next one. They will, however, slow growth.
At least one speaker at the UN conference made sense. Czech President Vaclav Klaus argued:
The anti-crisis measures... follow from the assumption that the crisis was a failure of markets and that the right way out is more regulation of markets. This is a mistaken assumption...
Regulatory government interventions ... destroy markets and together with them the chances for economic growth and prosperity in both developed and developing countries.
And while Obama announced that it was "time to reinvigorate U.N. peacekeeping," Klaus took a different approach:
This is the time for international organizations, including the United Nations, to reduce their expenditures, make their administrations thinner and leave the solutions to the governments of the member states which are directly accountable to the citizens of their countries.
Unlike Obama and the U.N. bureaucrats, Klaus knows a thing or two about reducing expenditures. Last week:
About 40,000 [Czech] soldiers, policemen, doctors and other professionals protested in Prague against proposals to slash government spending by 10 percent to prevent the country from falling deeper into debt.
The new budget will slash their salaries by up to 43 percent. The budget is due to be passed in December.
If the Czech Republic can do it, maybe there's hope for America?