Conservative Political Commentary

...usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Economic Principles That Should Be Put into Practice

President Barack Obamaa, flanked by Paul Volck...Image via Wikipedia
Paul Volcker, President Obama, and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt
The same people in government who create economic crises and problems for America are the ones who propose to solve them, by doing more of the things that created them. The futility of this approach should be obvious, but somehow isn’t. Since so many economists have been taken in by Keynesianism, they are thereby largely precluded from considering other approaches. Therefore, we have things like President Obama’s latest “jobs” bill proposal. It’s like the previous “stimulus” plan, except it would also add an “infrastructure bank,” i.e. a slush fund/piggy bank for liberal politicians to fund union-friendly projects that would create little to nothing in terms of addressing the actual problems of unemployment.

The “jobs” bill would cost nearly half a trillion dollars, which the president proposed to pay for, initially, by letting the super committee figure it out, and then, more recently, proposed raising taxes on those awful oil companies and rich people.

Government officials could get a clue about how the economy works if they would listen to Peter Schiff in the following video of Schiff’s appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe (video via The Daily Bail, dated March 25, 2009) [1]:


Quoth Schiff: “Keynes. It's nonsense. He's like a witch doctor in medicine. You can't follow Keynes. Keynes didn't understand economics.”

That the economy should be based on savings, investment, and production, rather than endless borrowing and spending, ought not to be such a hard concept to grasp. Also, politicians should understand that propping up, even enshrining the mistakes that led to the crisis simply compounds the errors and prevents market corrections.

The more spending the government does to try to jump-start the economy, and the more money the Fed prints to put into the system, the worse the situation will become. Unless definite measures are taken to reduce the size and scope of government and to make actual significant cuts in federal spending, and to stop all bailouts, subsidies, and other corporate welfare, the outlook is for more economic deterioration to an extent determined by how much of this is not done.

Obama calls for “investment,” meaning government spending, but what is needed is for government and the Fed to step aside and let private saving and investment take place. If there could be some certainty as to low taxes and less regulation (get rid of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, and rein in the EPA), the business climate would look much more favorable, and the economy would soon improve. If interest rates could be set by the free market, investors could experience acceptable returns, and would be willing to risk capital.

Until the GOP can take control of House, Senate, and White House, there won’t likely be a lot of progress, and even if they do, it will remain to be seen how they would proceed. But it isn’t yet too late to start improving things. It’s over a year until election time, and during the interim, we’ll have to cope with high unemployment, high deficits, and whatever the “super committee” comes up with. If the economy can be interfered with less by government and the Fed, some good things can still happen over the next year or so. Let the recession play itself out, and the market will begin correcting the economy.


[1] “Look Out Krugman, Belief In Keynes Is Belief In Self-Delusion: Peter Schiff Tells The Truth About The Recession And Government Spending (MSNBC Morning Joe Video),” The Daily Bail.

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