When I begin to get frustrated over what appears to be the reigning ignorance on the socialistic tendencies of the current and former administrations, stories like the following help me remember that free market principles are not at all obvious to many.

I remember being told by an elderly Japanese that used to be senior in the foreign ministry, what a shock it was when they lost the war and the Americans came onto their island. And he said “the American’s said something quite remarkable. They said to us, ‘we’re not going to rebuild your economy after the war.'” And he said “that struck us as curious, because why should they? And then they said something even more curious which is ‘but we’re going to let you rebuild your own economy, through your own efforts, by admitting you into the world trading system.”

And this elderly Japanese said “that seemed crazy. Here we were desperately short of food, raw materials, building materials, pharmaceuticals, everything you needed; and these crazy Americans were telling us you got rich by shipping it abroad and selling it to foreigners.” He said “it made no sense to us and yet, we had to do it, so we did do it … and it did work.”

John Llewellyn, during an interview on Tom Keen‘s “On The Economy,” April 1, 2010.

… But then again, if these principles were obvious to most Americans 50 years ago, I wonder where that puts us in the next 50 years.

I doubt it will take that long before we look just like Greece does today.