Thursday, January 29, 2009

"If you want money flowing to the companies with good lobbyists and powerful congressmen, then the stimulus bill may accomplish something."

David Boaz, author of Libertarianism: A Primer, has a good article on the economy at Real Clear Politics (via Newsalert):

Even if regulators are as smart as Leonardo da Vinci and as incorruptible as Mother Teresa, they can never have as much knowledge as the decentralized, competitive market process, so planned economies and planned industries fall further and further behind free-market systems. But in reality, even if they're smart, they're not incorruptible. Political influence always comes into play. What we're seeing with the bailout funds will also happen with the stimulus money.

Government planners claim to be able to aggregate all the available information and make informed decisions for the whole society. But market economies clearly produce far more economic growth than planned economies. It isn't just the United States versus the Soviet Union or East Germany versus West Germany. Consider the customer service and technological advances you get from FedEx versus the post office, or Microsoft and Apple versus the DMV.

If you want money flowing to the companies with good lobbyists and powerful congressmen, then the stimulus bill may accomplish something. But we should all recognize that we're taking money out of the competitive, individually directed part of society and turning it over to the politically controlled sector. Politicians rather than consumers will pick winners and losers. That's not a recipe for recovery.

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24 Comments:

Blogger DADvocate said...

This bill does nothing but keep the rich friends of rich Democrats rich and put an horrible debt on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren while Obama and Congressional Democrats try to pull the wool over our eyes.

1:37 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger stuart said...

right...but we have always had lobbyists (ask McCain about that) and we always will. But we also have a massive economic problem and this is not offering any cure. Why not, once again, talk as GOP does about tax cuts? Well Bush did that for the wealthy and it has not worked. And that is why America is crying out for a change.

2:30 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

I voted against every incumbent. That's what I do. These people in office, they're either responsible for getting us into this mess, or they're resonsible for not getting us out of it. Either way, I vote them out.

This stimulus package is a joke.

A politician is a politician is a politician. People in positions of power make decsisions based on their own interest. Period.

This is why I favor limited government, separation of power, checks and balances. Term limits.

I don't want politicians in positions of power making decisions based on their own interests with MY MONEY.

2:40 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger stuart said...

term limits: say you have a person in office you believe is doing a fine job. He or she knows that time is very limited. Might as well go for the bucks etc...why not reward those who do well and punish (by not reelecting) those who do not? A term limit simply means : get in and get what is good for you cause you are soon out. Name a president you admire. Name a senator you admire. Would you have him or her serve one term only?

3:41 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Stuart wrote: "Well Bush did that for the wealthy and it has not worked."

You are just wrong Stuart. The Kennedy, Reagen, and Bush tax cuts all stimulated the economy and created economic growth. You can look it up. 8)

Our current mess is not due to tax cuts, they reduce the amount of money the government has, which does not hurt the economy. Our current mess has two main causes: The Democratic Congress forced two quasi-governmental agencies to lend money to people who could not pay the loans back, those loans failed, and problems started. The second reason is that while people like you trust Obama, people who own businesses do not.

Them's the facts, do not let people confuse you with spin.

And for the record, two of my favorite Senators from my state, Senators Frist and Thompson term limited themselves. I respect them MORE for that.

You are trusting government too much my man, you would be better to trust yourself.

Trey

4:05 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3059

Cut and paste if you wish to read a Cato Center economist writing about tax cut data.

Trey

4:13 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger stuart said...

If the tax cuts worked, we would not have the huge deficit we have...the tax money given to the wealthy.
The mess in our economy does not have so simple an explanation as the semi-private two fannies! that is what the conservatives want us to believe...both parties...both...deregulated and allowed one huge ponzi scheme.

thank the good lord that Cato and Bush did not privatize social security or the entire elderly population would be on the streets.

I trust the govt now more than I trust private corporations such as Enron, Citi, AIG etc etc..and their bonuses, coming from our tax money...when they restore faith in them I will trust them...meantime, the military is a govt thing I do trust and it does not let me down.

5:56 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

No, if President Bush didn't spend like a liberal we wouldn't have deficit.

As for Corporations and the Government, I trust neither. They're both out for their own best interests, not mine. I've always realized this and I think to "trust" any big faceless legal entity is foolish. Heck, you have to be on your guard to even trust another human...I'm not about to overly trust any legal entity(corporations, government, churches all fall into this).

6:03 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Thanks Roman!

It was late and I could not have said it as succinctly as you.

Bravo.

Trey

11:57 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

The world wide system is overloaded with debt. There probably isn't a single snowflake in this avalanche without some form of responsibility. We live in a nation trained to consume from the day we are born. The baby boomers were raised on TV commercials. The first generation to be so raised. The one hour TV show is edited to run 42 minutes. The other 18 minutes are commercials. Now we have cable. We are PAYING to watch commercials. There are people who sit around and watch infomercials - actually paying to be sold on something.

I see people buying groceries with credit cards. How do they ever catch up with that? They don't.

We see things from the republican side or the liberal side. Further points of view are not yet powerful enough to fully force themselves on to the stage. But they are gaining strength and joining forces with liberal points of view, for the most part. And I submit, only to take over at the opportune moment. The misinformation and dis-information is rampant. Fact / truth (mutually exclusive, by the way) are casualties daily. Spin baby spin.

The insane bonuses are golden parachutes for the clowns. Take them back, Obama. Go to the individuals who received them, and take them back. Put the money to use elsewhere, if you believe what you are doing is truly helping - which it is not. To the senators and congressman who feel no financial pain because of this situation, until election time comes around at least, keep your noses in the wind. 5 billion for ACORN? Why? Really, why? Oh yeah, I'm gonna forget about that one. If you folks will remember, money for ACORN was removed from the bail out plan. How did it get back in? And how did the amount increase over the original proposal? I have been reading a lot this morning, so I'm all over the map. This post could, however, be book length. Thank God I have to go to work, or it might be.

6:28 AM, January 30, 2009  
Blogger Larry J said...

If the tax cuts worked, we would not have the huge deficit we have...the tax money given to the wealthy.
The mess in our economy does not have so simple an explanation as the semi-private two fannies! that is what the conservatives want us to believe...both parties...both...deregulated and allowed one huge ponzi scheme.


You're accepting a false premise. A tax rate reduction allows people - including the rich - to keep more of the money they earn. That isn't giving them money, it's taking less. Now, tax rate reductions have been tried at least 3 times and every time, the economy grew. It's better to take a lower precentage of a growing economy than a higher percentage of a shrinking one.

It always amazes me how some people fixate on only one side of the deficit/debt problem. They go on and on about tax cuts but say little or nothing about spending increases. Everytime when the rates have been cut, tax revenues have increased. However, spending has increased even faster. It's similar to a man getting a $100 a week raise who increases his spending by $200 a week. Trouble soon follows.

I see people buying groceries with credit cards. How do they ever catch up with that? They don't.

You're making a broad assumption here that no one pays off their credit card balance each month. Actually, quite a few of us do. I get mileage on my credit card that I've used to get several free airline tickets over the years. By putting almost all of my expenses on the credit card, the miles build fairly quickly. However, my wife and I have not paid a penny of credit card interest in many years because we always pay off our balance. We're far from the only ones. True, there are way too many people who use credit cards to live beyond their means. It just isn't close to being everyone.

8:32 AM, January 30, 2009  
Blogger David said...

The more there is government micromanagment of the economy, the more that *lobbying effectiveness* will become the key success factor for corporations. This is very good, on a personal financial level, for lobbyists and for all lawyers whose practice includes a regulatory/government-relations element. It is also very good for incumbent Congressmen, who will be better able to sop up campaign contributions and implicit promises of after-leaving-office payoffs.

"Progressives," and even old-line liberals, tend to think of government as an idealized parent-figure, not really understanding that it is made up of people who are themselves economic actors and who are pursuing their own desires for power, money, status, and security.

9:24 AM, January 30, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Stuart wrote "thank the good lord that Cato and Bush did not privatize social security."

Stuart, how much do you actually know about Social Security? Did you know that the money you and I pay into Social Security goes into the GENERAL fund and is spent every year? Did you know that it is not in any way invested?

The way that Social Security is currently run is indestinguishable from a Ponzi scheme. You have NO investments in Social Security other than the people younger than you when you retire.

Finally, do you have any private investments? I do. Even with the tank in the markets since it was clear that Obama would win, my private investments have outperformed my social security by a very large margin.

Stuart, you are believing what people tell you instead of looking and thinking for yourself. This is not necessarily a permanent condition! Educate yourself brother, ignore talking points and dig into the meat and source material of the issues. It will do you good.

Trey

10:22 AM, January 30, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

David wrote: ""Progressives," and even old-line liberals, tend to think of government as an idealized parent-figure,"

There is a strong correlation between growing up in a single parent home and voting Democratic.

No surprise there.

Trey

10:23 AM, January 30, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

When I hear about anything, I first asked myself "Who's making money? How? Where?" This is one of the key reasons why I disregard most economic advice from incredibly rich people(Warren Buffett) because at the end of the day, they're still trying to make more money.

12:50 PM, January 30, 2009  
Blogger David said...

Roman..."who's making money?" is a good question to ask, but remember that people have motivations in addition to financial ones. Many politicians do care about making money (and take care of themselves financially very well) but care more about power and adulation. These desires are not necessarily superior--Dr Johnson said that "a man is never more harmlessly employed than when he is making money."

I recently ran across a quote from Ben Franklin on the importance of making sure that those who make money, and those who have power, are not the same people.

6:09 PM, January 30, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Glad you pay off your credit cards monthly, Larry J. You use them as a convenience and to get free air miles. Me too. I never carry but a few dollars cash. Accept for the house itself, if I bring it home, it's paid for.

I wasn't making a broad assumption. The assumption is yours. I was stating the fact that I see people purchasing groceries with credit cards. As a single dad, I go to grocery stores bi-weekly. I stand in line right behind them.

8:11 AM, January 31, 2009  
Blogger Larry J said...

I wasn't making a broad assumption. The assumption is yours. I was stating the fact that I see people purchasing groceries with credit cards. As a single dad, I go to grocery stores bi-weekly. I stand in line right behind them.

So what if they're using credit cards to pay for groceries. I do it all of the time. I just make sure that the credit card bill is paid in full every month. I agree that way too many people use credit card debt as a vehicle to live beyond their means. That's a certain prescription for disaster. No one, not individuals nor governments, can borrow their way to prosperity.

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