Thursday, June 2, 2011

Economic Woes

The other night I read a piece someone sent me, by economist Walter Williams. I usually read his articles on Townhall, but this one I’d missed, I assumed because of the school thing I’m doing for another week. A friend emailed it—twice. It was startlingly negative, not usual for Williams. I was going to put the link here, but it turns out, this was not a piece by Williams, but was published when someone sent it in his name (according to Snopes). So, in addition to what I’m addressing below on the concepts of the piece, I suggest getting all you can from the real Walter Williams here.

The article said, in essence, there is no chance Obama won’t be reelected, no matter how good the Republican candidate. The constituencies (special interests) who lean toward Obama to get their various handouts are listed, and the list covers too much to overcome. And then the summary is that it’s because Americans don’t understand economics. So this is what I’m looking to remedy.

At this point I am following various candidates getting into the presidential race, but I’m not committed anywhere—except the whole anybody-but-Obama concept. That’s because I do have a basic understanding of economics. (Actually, the whole anti-Constitution socialism, hate-America, racist, condescending approach to the presidency is so unpalatable, I would be anti-Obama even with a better economy.)

The overused “well, the economy was much worse when we arrived than we thought” excuse, essentially the blame Bush ploy, doesn’t stand. As much as I was against the Bush bailout at the tail end of his presidency, those temporary giveaways actually were paid back in a fairly timely fashion, nearly in full. So it is the Obama handouts and QE1 and QE2, along with anti-energy policies, and foolish schemes like Obamacare and cash for clunkers (removing supply from the market usually used by poorer workers, making their transportation costs rise) that have kept the economy down.

I’m not the first to say this, but you can look at the disastrous depression that happened around 1921, which was forgettable because government resisted interfering and the market corrected quickly. Then compare that to the equally bad crash of 1929, which was followed by considerable employment recovery—until the government interfered and messed everything up for the next decade plus. They used the same excuses then: “Imagine how bad things would be if we weren’t doing all we can!” It’s not any more useful just because Obama says it.

The concept that has most stuck with me from freshman Economics is that government interference with the market ALWAYS makes things worse. It’s not a matter of trial and error and tweaking to get it just right. Government doing something about the economy will always make the economy worse.

We have just a year to get this basic concept into the heads of Americans, to avoid what could be worse, and longer, than the Great Depression of the 1930s (plus a whole lot of other ills this presidency intends to impose on us). I’m just one voice, but at least I’m saying it. I hope you will help.

If you need a quick refresher on economics, see the Free Enterprise vs Controlled Economy section of the Spherical Model website.

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