Guest Saturday with The Free Market Project

The following article was originally published by Pat Slattery of The Free Market Project on Friday, September 16, 2011.


There’s more evidence for Bigfoot than for Obamanomics working .

How can anyone still believe in Obamanomics? The only answer I can come up with is a complete lack of understanding of economics. The only other thing I could speculate about is an irrational belief in big government as a solution. I say irrational because we have much more evidence for bigfoot and UFOs than we do for big government working. In fact, we have nothing but evidence to the contrary.

The biggest big government experiment was the Soviet Union. It failed miserably, because of a miserable economy. Smaller versions of the same phenomenon can be seen in Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela (as Chavez brings that country ever downward). A sort of socialism lite has been tried in Europe, and what we see is rioting in the streets of Greece and the UK. In each case, what we see is whatever prosperity the country once had being swallowed by the rising tide of growing government and government dependency until the productive sector in the society simply can’t keep up. We see a complete failure of central planning. What we really see is human nature. Unless people are moving forward, free to grow and create, systemic entropy sets in and collapse is inevitable. The rate is dependent only on the speed of the rising tide of government growth and central planning.

So here we stand at the precipice. Our own government has grown rapidly, taking on responsibilities (actually, usurping responsibilities) that were once the domain of free people exercising their own responsibility. The tide is rising faster than ever under Obama and the Progressives. When Obama promised that we had reached the day when the rise of the oceans would stop, he clearly wasn’t talking about the rising waters of government debt, costly regulations, and government interference in our lives. He didn’t realize that the waters we’d drown in were the economic costs of big government and that what would die first was the productivity that supports all prosperity in the nation, including the ability of the government to do anything, necessary or not.

His new jobs bill has landed with a resounding thud, despite his campaign appearance in the House Chamber and his exhortations to pass his laughable bill “right away.” He’s like a drunk standing at his front door trying to open the lock with his car key. It hasn’t worked, it can never work, but he’s going to keep trying. And, he’s going to blame the door, or the lock, or the people on the other side of the door, never thinking that he’s got the wrong key and that the problem is that he’s to stupid to realize it.

It seems the American people, a majority of us anyway, are beginning to wake up and realize that the problem isn’t too little government, but far too much. Government is inept. It simply is. If you want something done, done quickly, and done well, do you give the project to a hungry entrepreneur with the promise of prosperity if he’s successful, or do you form a bureaucracy and start writing rules and then let a team of uninspired bureaucrats take on the problem? I can’t believe anyone, in any other endeavor in their life, would want a bureaucracy and a mass of red tape standing in their way. Yet, Obama and the Progressives give that as the answer. More government control. Government taking more money from the productive and spending it on the unproductive, with massive bureaucracy in the middle. Government, run by people who have, for the most part, never made it in the private sector, picking winners and losers in the economy through tax breaks, cronyism, and regulation. How can that turn out any way but badly?

The answer is becoming more and more clear every day. I don’t even have to give details, because we all know the punch list: cut spending, cut and simplify the tax code, reduce burdensome regulation. Free the market to work by getting government out of the way.

Obama’s laughable plan is simply more giveaways to his cronies in the private and public sector unions. More taxpayer money spent on boondoggles and programs designed to get employers to make decisions in as way that employers simply do not make decisions–a plan that could only be put forward by someone who has never had his own money on the line, who has never had to look at a bottom line, or had his own livelihood dependent on whether or not the ink was black or red.

The worst thing is that Obama (and those who still believe in his policies) don’t realize that every dollar they spend has to be taken from someone who was going to do something with it that would probably be productive. And, it’s worse than that, because they’re spending borrowed money (that the taxpayers have to pay back) so they’re borrowing one dollar plus interest to spend one dollar, and they’ve run that dollar through an inefficient and wasteful bureaucracy before they spend it, so it’s not even a full dollar that gets spent. Isn’t it obvious, at some point, that leaving that dollar in the hands of the person who earned it, who will either spend it on something wanted or needed, or invest it, or save it (providing loanable capital for other people who are trying to be productive) is far more productive? Instead we get all of this government activity that wastes the money, and causes confusion and fear so the productive stop spending and investing. The government spending more when it’s already got us in debt to the tune of the entire GDP, and spending it foolishly, while at the same time creating new regulations and new expensive programs is bound to freeze capital and disincentivize risk and growth. Why is this hard to understand?

As I said, I believe that the majority of Americans now understand what we need to do. Obama’s jobs bill landing with a thud is evidence of that. Solyndra is evidence of that. Did you notice that the White House was aware that Solyndra was a horrible investment, but that they rushed through a loan (a guarantee) from the taxpayers of half a billion dollars so that they could get a freakin’ photo op? That is how concerned this administration is about your money and our deficit and debt. They don’t even know how to act like they’ve got skin in the game, because they’ve never had skin in any game. What’s a half a billion to them?

They have no answers. Their programs fit the classic definition of insanity. They’re irresponsible with taxpayer money. They have no idea how real prosperity is created, despite living in a place where all of the prosperity they see was created in the free market, and being able to observe, not only here but around the world, how government kills that prosperity.

UPDATE: Warren Meyer at Coyoteblog disembowels an article by Kevin Drum defending the White House on Solyndra. It’s a great example of a Progressive Dem having no clue as to how business or economics works, and defending the indefensible with purely ignorant argument. Warren eviscerates Drum’s defense. It’s a joy to read.

4 thoughts on “Guest Saturday with The Free Market Project

    1. The interesting thing is that places that have moved toward freer markets have prospered while the US and Europe have gone toward more government interference. China seemed to learn at least a little something from the prosperity of Hong Kong. But my favorite examples are India, which cut its red tape and put in pro-free market policies and suddenly found its poor population quickly coming out of poverty. Even Israel, which had a highly controlling central government, finally pulled government back in favor of free market principles and entrepreneurialism and has prospered as a result (read “Start Up Nation”, it’s fascinating).

  1. Apparently Obama and the Democrats only want to win in 2012 if they can win with their programs. They could propose exactly the recipe we want and the Republicans would have to support it. The President and the Dems would be heroes and would probably win big time in 2012. Its all about ideology.

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