Keynes is Dead, Long Live…Keynes?


Each time a government has tried to spend its way out of a depression, the result has been ongoing economic failure

John Maynard Keynes was an economist…or at least a political activist who used economic-sounding arguments to justify government intervention.

In the 1930s, he was THE economist, if you believed in that government intervention.

But, as we all know, his Theory proved to be a complete failure. It failed to produce results during the Great Depression, but staggered on until the 1970s, when it failed so spectacularly, causing staflation, that it was pronounced dead, even by Liberals in the US and open socialists around the world.

But, unfortunately, George Bush came along in 2001, and after having run as a free marketer, governed as a Keynesian. He infected the political scene with the premise that you could stimulate an economy out of a downturn, by having the government spend massively, even as it increased regulation (in part, by putting strings on the spending). When the economy fell into trouble because of his bad foreign and domestic policies, he responded with Stimulus and Bailout™ packages. That trademark, of course, means that he must pay the Keynes estate a royalty for each mention.

Obama, having run as the Anti-Bush, has committed the perplexing political suicide of simply building on every Bush precedent…most of which really are more Liberal Democrat in tenor, anyway…and one of the symptoms is that he continued the Stimulus and Bailout™ packages.

The problem, as we predicted and is now proving true, is that stimulus spending and bailouts don’t help the economy: They hurt it.

This pattern of behavior has caused what people denying the word Depression call a “double dip recession”, which we’re entering (again) right now.

The only way out, is to end the Keynesian meddling, and let the economy grow on its own. Japan and Sweden learned this the hard way, after each suffering a “lost decade” in the nineties. Now it’s our turn.

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The Anti-Jobs Bill: Tax Breaks for Welfare Jobs


If government could "create" jobs, it could simply pay half of the unemployed to dig holes, and the other half to fill them in, and we'd have full employment.

If government could "create" jobs, it could simply pay half of the unemployed to dig holes, and the other half to fill them in, and we'd have full employment.

Drug mega-giant Pfizer recently dealt with its bloated payroll in St Louis, Missouri, by laying off over 600 employees.

It had hired them in order to gain reduced tax punishment from the local government. It was given a “break” of almost seven million dollars on the massive property tax, in return for hiring over one thousand employees…apparently more than it would otherwise have chosen to hire, or else the “break” would have been a meaningless loss of revenue for a money-strapped government.

Maintaining make-work welfare jobs, of course, was just a needless burden on the company. Eventually, such government coercion contributed enough to its woes that Pfizer actually found it necessary to lay off over half of its staff. In all likelihood, this backlash resulted in fewer jobs left-over than if it hadn’t over-hired to begin with.

When the government “encourages” hiring, it creates an employment bubble, just like when it encouraged home ownership, it created a housing bubble. When the bubble bursts, the net result is more harm than good, just as with housing.

Government “stimulating jobs” causes even more job loss, in the long run.

And yet Congress is about to pass a “jobs bill” that involves tax breaks for make-work hiring. Companies will be pushed to employ people they wouldn’t have otherwise chosen to do, essentially being forced to live beyond their means. In the long run, as with the housing boom and with Pfizer, this will backfire and cause MORE unemployment.

When the government “creates” a job, it’s just engaging in another form of welfare. A job “created” where one wasn’t actually needed has no honor, and causes harm. It is a burden on society…one that will come back to haunt, just the way the stimulus spending, bailouts, and other government busybody behavior will do.

The way to create jobs is not to “create” them directly, any more than you make sickly person healthy by giving him cocaine to create energy. Jobs are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. They work because people work to create more wealth than their job pays, justifying its existence. What we need is more wealth creation, and then the jobs will come naturally. And what is stifling job creation, already, is massive government regulation and interference, including the “stimulus” spending that out-competes healthy private ventures.

Bunning (Almost) Fights Unemployment


When you subsidize anything, you get more of that thing. Including unemployment.
I have a friend who got fed up with his job, and gave it up because he felt collecting unemployment was a better option. This, alone, is evidence of how unemployment benefits increase unemployment…but it gets worse:

He eventually got tired of not working at all, and got a job one day a week, just low enough not to cut into his unemployment benefit.

Here comes the “worse” part.

His employer liked him, and kept begging him to work full time…but he planned to kick back and relax until unemployment ran out. That’s right, benefits not only caused him to CHOOSE to be unemployed, but to refuse to take a full-time job, keeping him on the unemployment roles. But at least it would eventually run out…right?

  • Then Bush and Congress decided to extend it.
  • Then, when it was about to run out (again), Obama and Congress extended it once more. My friend has ended up living off the taxpayers, indefinitely, while his employer dreams of GIVING him full time work.
  • Then Jim Bunning decided my friend must go back to work. His employer must have been thrilled.

Not that Bunning is a principled Conservative, who believes in not subsidizing unemployment. No, he is just a partisan RiNO grandstanding against unfunded government spending…now that Bush isn’t the one spearheading it.

Which may be why he caved in, just a short time later. My friend gets to remain a burden on society, unemployment gets to remain artificially high.

Ever wonder how much of the 10% unemployment is simply people who CHOOSE not to work, because the government subsidizes not working?

What we need is more people in Congress who are actually like Jim Bunning was pretending, for a few hours, to be.

A Victory for True Health Care Reform?


The White House, today, announced a series of four ostensible concessions to demands that health care actually be reformed, not simply nationalized.

This is an encouraging step, although currently little more than a gesture. If it went forward as-is, it would only be a pyrrhic victory…but it does show that the socialized proposal is in serious trouble.

Let’s check out the changes, and see what’s left to fix:

  • CORRUPTION: Sending investigators disguised as patients to uncover fraud and waste

We don’t think having more of a police state is really the right approach, but with up to a quarter of all socialized health coverage being wasted, it’s a start.

  • RUNAWAY LAWSUITS: Expanding medical malpractice reform pilot programs

This sounds right…but depends on what these “pilot programs” actually are.

  • WAAH? Increasing payments to Medicaid providers?

What? They finally acknowledge that Medicare/Medicaid is grossly corrupt, and now they want to increase the money they throw at the system? This is reminiscent of Bush throwing of taxpayer money at Louisiana after Katrina, which is just a mirror of what got Louisiana in that position in the first place.

  • OVERINSURANCE: Expanding the use of health savings accounts.

If they just put more money into the existing, fake medical savings account programs, they are only making the problem worse. At the moment, you are only allowed to save health care money for one year, then it is stolen from you by the government, and you start over. This means people are forced to squander millions on needless “health care” spending at the end of each year…driving up health care prices. What is needed is REAL medical savings accounts, where you keep the money indefinitely, and when it gets large enough, you can reduce your medical insurance into a cheap program that only covers unexpected disasters, and even roll over your medical savings account into a retirement account.

So does this mean that the current, socialized health care megabill should be accepted?

No, in fact it means we need to fight harder than ever.

The bill would still do far more harm than good.

It still is comprised almost entirely of the same kind of measures that caused the problems we have in the first place. Massive government spending that drives up prices, new regulations that bog down providers, expansions of full coverage insurance that strip away consumer power…and worse:

All of it in one massive Megabill, allowing them to fill it with pork and bad measures that one must accept in order to get ANY change at all.

Obama Has a Mandate AGAINST Big Government



Bush didn't understand why people didn't like his Big Brotherment style, and Obama doesn't understand why people hate him copying it.

Obama fanatics are all confused and muddled by this anti-government backlash.

They keep saying “but a majority voted for Obama, they must WANT socialized health care”, or Cap and Trade, or Tax the Rich, or whatever.

We had an election, THEY won. This was proof of a mandate for a growing, interventionist government. Obama ran on socialized medicine, redistribution of taxes, environmentalist control of the economy, and he’s trying to do just what he always said he believed in, so:

Everyone should be happy…right?

Well, no.

See:

People were not voting for Obama

Aside from the absolute idiots who voted for or against him because he is half black, or on blind party lines, most people were specifically voting against Bush and McCain. Obama won because he ran on “change”.

And, regardless of any Democratic spin to the contrary, Bush had a Big Government administration. The change people wanted was less government intervention.

Expanding socialized medicine is not Change, it’s Business as Usual. The largest expansion of socialized medicine in US history was Bush’s prescription drug plan.

People voted not for a Che Guevara Wannabe, but against someone who governed like a Hugo Chavez-Wannabe, and his philosophical heir, who promised to be an even bigger advocate of government intervention.

  • They were not saying “we like Obama’s stimulus plan” but “we hate Bush’s stimulus plan, that McCain supports”.
  • Not “we like Obama’s plan to expand war in Afghanistan” but “we hate Bush’s war in Iraq, that McCain wants to extend”.
  • Instead of “we want Obama’s cap and trade proposal” they were saying “we hate McCain’s cap and trade proposal”.
  • People were voting against the Bush/McCain bank bailout, not for Obama’s bank takeover.

What we have gotten, under Obama, is not Change, but four more years of Bush’s philosophy of Big Brotherment.

The people striking out against Obama now are the same people who got Obama elected, voting against Bush by doing something other than voting for McCain, whether by abstaining, voting third party, or actually voting for Obama.

If he wants to save his presidency, Obama needs to realize the TEA Party and town hall speakers are the Obama mandate.

We Need MORE Snow in DC


The thing about the government shutdown that should worry bureaucrats the most, is that we might realize we don't need them.

Watching pundits worrying about the shutdown of DC because of record snowfalls, and debating who to blame, asking whether this meant it is vulnerable to shutdown by other disasters, I found that they were entirely missing the point:

Aside from providing the perfect background for the fall of the global warming myth, it has illustrated for us how absolutely unimportant the Federal bureaucracy is for the nation’s well-being.

The “government shutdown” has proved as completely irrelevant to the rest of the country as it did in 1995, and 1990, and several times in the 1980s. For the most part, the Federal government…especially the expensive, or restrictive, aspects of it…is nothing but a burden on the backs of the American people.

Snow it in, or cut off its funding, and the real, productive people in the rest of the country not only do just fine, but are actually better-off.

What we need is for this kind of thing to happen more often.

Perhaps we could at least spare the innocent (albeit largely non-productive) DC locals the suffering, and have official, planned government shutdowns. We could start with the precedent of the December-to-April shutdown in 1995, caused by Clinton vetoing the fiscal restraint proposed by the Republican Congress; a shutdown that saved enough money to jump-started the move to the first nominal government surplus in decades.

We shut down much of the Federal government for four months, and tally up the savings. Next year, we increase it by some modest amount…say five percent. And we do that each year, until we find the point of diminishing returns. I figure it’ll be around the 364-day shutdown mark.

Washington, you’d better figure out you are doing us more harm than good, before it’s too late.

How to Prevent another Haitian Disaster


It’s not enough to simply run around making feelgood gestures in a panic-stricken reaction to the earthquake in Haiti.

We need to address why this went as horribly as it did. Sure, a similar earthquake in New York City would kill millions of people, but in almost any other area of the world, whose population density was comparable to Haiti, it would not have been as bad.

A few years ago, Haiti suffered a similarly exaggerated catastrophe because of a hurricane, that caused more death there than it would have anywhere else.

And next time anything goes wrong, at this rate, it will cause a needlessly great level of death and suffering, unless something is done to fix the underlying problem.

Why, exactly, is Haiti so impoverished?

What situation has its major city full of large, but insanely dilapidated buildings?

That’s pretty simple…it’s something we’re moving toward in the US, although we have a long way to go:

This is the fate that awaits anyone trying to create wealth in Haiti


Socialism.

Haiti, some time back, was considerably more prosperous and stable.

Then Jean-Bertrand Aristide, self-described Marxist, overthrew its elected Parliament, slaughtered its businessmen, farmers, essentially anyone who brought prosperity to the region, and imposed a reign of socialist terror that made Cuba look like a capitalist Mecca.

It has continued to decline, despite a stream of foreign aid, ever since. Well, OK, foreign aid generally just causes more poverty, but the core problem here is the country’s Marxist government, creating the poverty that causes the aid to appear necessary.

What Haiti needs isn’t simply more handouts, but to end its own self-imposed third world economic situation, where creating prosperity and well-being is outlawed, and punishable by death.

Where the Hell Are Medical Savings Accounts?


chained caduceusThe actual problem with our failing health care system is that consumers have no control over it. Already, too much is paid for by middlemen like insurance companies and government. If Americans only paid 5% of their food bills, a cheeseburger would cost fifty bucks, too.

Why are people handing off control of their health care to middlemen? Because government imposes massive taxes on them, and then “rewards” them, with tax breaks, for paying needless insurance companies to cover their well-care, checkups, and minor problems while charging them triple what those will cost.

If you say “screw that, boss, I’ll take the cash instead of the health insurance”, you’re forced to pay taxes on the money, when the insurance was pre-tax.

The solution? (aside from cutting the massive tax burden)

Medical Savings Accounts.

Instead of giving the money to a middleman insurance company, you get to keep it yourself, to save for any medical needs. It is not taxed, and once you accumulate enough to cover any predictable needs, you roll the rest over into a retirement account each year. Meanwhile, you by a very cheap catastrophic insurance plan, that only covers unexpected, rare disasters like cancer and falling in a wood chipper. These can cost only a fraction of a harmful full-coverage plan.

This gives you control over your own health care, the ONLY way to cut costs. It also allows you to save for your retirement, freeing you from depending on the ridiculous, doomed social security system that will NOT be there when even Gen X retires.

Why do we not have this?

Ask your congressman.

CEO Salaries: More Bailout Failure


I am opposed to socialism. It always does more harm than good. But I will not defend the executives of the companies that stole three hundred billion dollars from the US taxpayer. They opened the door to the nationalization of their companies, and the socialist Obama administration is simply following up on the precedent, just as they are following up on Bush’s socialist precedents.

Yes, the CEO compensation plan WILL cripple those companies, making them less likely to survive. But that’s what they get, for their robber baron status. The problem is the original socialist violation of the marketplace, not the cascade-effect it sets off.

We need to ban any more unconstitutional bailouts, not waste our breath objecting to its inevitable destruction of the companies who already bribed our government to get it.

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