David Harsanyi

I recently read a Newsweek piece ("On Our Own") examining the nation's economic troubles. Government, the story explained with a straight face, "seems to have run out of ideas for rebuilding the economy, but businesses and consumers are figuring it out for themselves."

Out of ideas? Hardly. And that's the problem. But what I particularly liked about the piece was that it neatly summed up the prevailing "idea" of the Washington establishment: Without government's help, you're on your own (a condition, incidentally, that is supposed to be scary).

Washington is stocked with folks who possess the extraordinary gift of believing that they have the ability to manage and organize complex economic systems -- and our behavior in them.

The one thing that they won't accept is that businesses, consumers and citizens can "figure it out for themselves."

We need gridlock to help them. And us.