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The stimulus has failed, and John Maynard Keynes is to blame.
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The Chicago School’s research led them to conclude that individuals are relatively deliberate and sophisticated in how they make economic choices. Keynesians and their liberal followers apparently think individuals are short-sighted and simple-minded.
An elemental but too often overlooked reality about our economy is that it is based on voluntary exchange. Voluntary exchange is an even more fundamental feature of our economy than is the market. A market is any arrangement that brings buyers and sellers together. In other words, the primary purpose of a market is to make voluntary exchange possible.
Voluntary exchange leaves large amounts of control in the hands of private individuals and businesses. The market relies on carrots rather than sticks, rewards rather than punishment. The actors, therefore, need to be induced to move in certain desired directions rather than simply commanded to do so. This is the basic reason why incentives are such an important part of economics. If not for voluntary exchange, incentives wouldn’t much matter.
In designing economic policy in the context of a market economy it becomes important to take into account what actually motivates people and how they make choices. If you want to change behavior in a voluntary exchange economy, you have to change incentives. Keynesian policies do not take that essential step.
The federal government’s share of GDP has gone from 19 percent to 24 percent during Obama’s time in the White House. A larger government share of GDP ultimately necessitates higher taxes or more debt. In and of themselves, higher taxes retard economic growth because of their impact on incentives. The disincentive effect of higher taxes illustrates why big government is far costlier than it first appears.
It’s no accident that Keynesianism is so popular with liberals. It blends well with their unquenchable thirst for expansive government. It doesn’t work for the economy but it works for them. The obvious failure of Keynesianism is further evidence of the bankruptcy of liberalism.
Keynesianism is essentially all the Democrats have. It’s a one-trick pony. That one trick hasn’t worked and now Dems are floundering with nothing more to offer.
All but one member of the president’s original economic team has exited. According to liberal columnist Ezra Klein, “Lawrence Summers and Christina Romer were two of the most influential Keynesians in the country. Obama didn’t just have a team of Keynesians. He had a Keynesian all-star team.”
Now the president has a Keynesian all-gone team. It will be a brighter day for the country when Keynesianism itself is gone for good.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online