Successful Economic Policies? For Whom?
Last week, in the wake of another uptick in the official unemployment rate, the administration continued to claim that their economic policies were working, just not fast enough. This administration inherited an unemployment rate of 7.7% and promised a peak of no higher than 8% if their policies were followed. Not only does the administration have a funny way of ending a war, but now they claim their economic policies are successful. For whom, I wonder?
These policies are not working for the 9.6% of Americans who are out of work, nor for the over 16% underemployed. They are not working for nearly 3 million Americans who have declared bankruptcy in the last two years, or the 40 million currently on food stamps. Nearly 1 in 6 Americans depend on those and other government anti-poverty programs such as Medicaid and unemployment benefits. As more Americans are added to the unemployment rolls, the tax base from which to hand out their benefits is shrinking. Still, businesses are being taxed and regulated out of the market, adding to the problem. What solutions are put forth? More government spending – even as each citizen's portion of the public debt is over $43,000 and expected to increase by $250,000 over the next 40 years.
No, this economy is not working for these people. But current economic policy does "work" for some people. For example, it has worked out very well for certain bankers and large corporations, who took on too much risk and got themselves in hot water, and were declared "too big to fail" which is really a euphemism for "friends in high places". It works well for large, well-connected military industrial corporations, who can always count on perpetual war and conflict to keep them in business. It also works for those on the government's payroll, which is increasing as the tax base is decreasing.
So where does the government get all this money even as its most obvious stream of revenue dries up? How can it keep spending seemingly indefinitely? Once it steals as much from you as it can get away with through taxation, it steals even more from you through what central bankers like to call quantitative easing, which is more or less the same thing as counterfeiting. When the money is no longer based on a finite quantity of something of value, like a store of gold or silver, the amount of money in circulation is not limited by anything but the restraint of those in control of the printing presses, in our case the Fed and the US Treasury. When increasing pressure is put upon them by irresponsible politicians, it is predictable that out of thin air, more money will be created to satisfy the insatiable appetites of those on political spending sprees. As money becomes more plentiful, it becomes less valuable, and the average citizen suffers again as the value of their savings evaporates. It has happened over and over in history, and what usually follows is the total debasement of the currency, hyperinflation and chaos.
Sound economic policy would be to take our foot off the gas and apply the brakes to government spending as the economic cliff approaches. We must get back to where our economy produces actual wealth, rather than mere paper wealth. The road back to fiscal sanity and a strong economy is simple: Congress just needs to get back to following the Constitution.
Posted by Reggie Greene / The Logistician on 09/14/10 03:24 PM
We strongly suspect that neither party really knows what they're doing, nor does any group of experts know what to do.
This is an area of uncharted waters, and everyone has theories, including the President. He's placing his untested theories into action, and people are uncomfortable. Even if the executed policies are the "right" ones, that is something which we will not know for several years down the road, even if then.
This economic problem is simply too large, complex, and interconnected with the economies of other nations, over which the US has no control. To fix most things in the universe, you have to get them to sit still at least for a short period of time. This is a dynamic situation.
If we as a society actually knew what worked, and could establish a direct cause and effect relationship with any certainty, we would have done it by now. Don't you think?
If the solutions were that clear cut, wouldn't you think that the governments of some other large world economics would have placed those solutions into action already? Any self-respecting, honest person would not claim WITH CERTAINTY that what they did at point X led directly to condition Y. Who really knows that? Let's get real folks.
Quite frankly, we don't think that any leader or legislative body ever KNOWS that what they do will have a specific, desired effect. Like any business person, they simply just give it their best shot and hope and pray that things will turn out OK. At least business people have more control over their smaller entities.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"Like any business person, they simply just give it their best shot and hope and pray that things will turn out OK."
Posted by David Alan on 09/09/10 11:17 PM
I like Gary North's quip:
"Thou shalt not steal, even by majority vote."
Or, the imperative for morality applies to individuals & groups.
Similarly, St. Augustine said:
"Without Justice, what is the state, but a great band of robbers ?"
The Biblical mandate to honesty in all our dealings, if held to by individuals & families, spreads outward to all of society.
If that society rots (as Dr Paul's message & the Daily Bell documents rigorously) it is because Free Markets & Liberty only thrive as a result of Private morality, which is based upon (largely) Western Civilizations embrace of Biblical morality & ethics " (Judeo-Christian standards, if you prefer).
Modern Darwinian Humanism is chaos inducing, in all it's forms. Socially, Economically, Collectively and Individually.
As Psalm 127 says: "Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who do...."
Thanks Daily Bell " Resistance to Tyrants, is obedience to God.....
Posted by John Treichler From The Banning Bunker. on 09/09/10 07:11 PM
Haven't heard a plan to cut Gov't spending.... just cut fraud, Freeze spending, everyone takes a 10% cut across the board.
Another approach: Send the big social programs back to the States with the associated revenue stream from payroll taxes. Let the States decide how to care for their Citizens.
1. Send healthcare back and let the States decide on their programs. Mass has one with warts but shows it can be done.
2. Send Medicare back to the States. Let States keep payroll tax revenue stream.
3. Send Education back to the States.
4. Send Welfare programs back to the States. States can decide locally how to care for their people. Lots of examples how local people work for "hours" for credit in grocery stores or even the hospitals for healthcare. Google "Japan Healthcare Hours".
5. We could even send Social Security back to the States with the payroll tax revenue stream. Since the Fed just spends the excess, the States may as well have the use of the funds.
6. Get rid of the Fed Dept of Health, Education & Welfare and the est. 10,000 civil servant payroll.
Who else has a definitive approach? Any thoughts? Congress needs good ideas .... .
Kind Regards to Dr. Paul who is on our side.
Posted by Slingshot on 09/09/10 12:23 PM
True. We get the government we deserve. You can not complain if you do not vote. Coming up on forty years of voting and if they had an election for dog catcher, I was down to cast my vote. Long ago I stopped giving money cause as the years rolled by, the laws I wanted past were just watered down by compromise. No teeth in the bill at all and the politicians proclaimed,"See I did something". No accoutability. These, Taurus-Fece-ologists, think they are doing something with the fist shaking and podium pounding. They think they are all, Henry Clay's, with their so called Fiery Speeches. Talk is cheap. Those politicans that say I do not understand the ways of compromise in government, I say, I know exactly what you have been doing because I feel the effects of your compromising. Get back to the Constitution and stop jecking us around.
Posted by Puzzled on 09/09/10 09:55 AM
I agree with you 100%. We, America, need you or someone like you to be our Pres. At least you haven't lied about your Name, ancestors( or just omitted them altogather), or even that your existence was based on a lie! As you stated "We need to get back to the Constitution!
Posted by Jack on 09/08/10 10:07 PM
To those who say it is too late, and game over; it certainly is if you do nothing.
Electing the right people is only half the job. Telling the public SERVANTS what the master (We the PEOPLE) order them to do is the other half. Order them to follow the Constitution.
But if you don't work to get the right people elected, you can't expect to have them do what you say.
This won't be over in one election or even ten elections. This isn't ever going to be over. We have to watch every move that the politicians make, and jerk back on their chain when we don't like what they are doing. It has always been that way, and always will be that way. We have all been lazy in this regard. Now we have to catch up.
Vigilance is the price of liberty.
People get the government they deserve.
Posted by Fred on 09/08/10 08:08 PM
I look forward to the challenges of a new commodity-backed currency the new policies implemented by new leaders who actually work to improve the quality of life and do it rather then paying someone else to. These are fascinating times to be alive as good or better then any others. When we invest the war, destroy and control monies on health, education and general problem solving our sense of community and worth will skyrocket and the world will start looking like a super spot.
Posted by Ken on 09/08/10 07:24 PM
Every administration blames the last,after all the Demopublican lie has been at it for a 100yrs. or so. If they are not blameing central banking and government regulations then they are lieing.All government statitics are lies,they adjust figures to make things look better.
Our dollar is worth .80 cents less than it was in the 50s; now you can see what inflation really is.The Constitution allows none of this; they are all guilty of breaching the oath of office.
Punishable by? ...
Posted by Janie on 09/08/10 07:13 PM
I agree with Bruce C. I don't think it is possible to change the way Congress works. The whole system needs to get back to honesty and integrity. I just don't think that will happen. There are too many temptations to become rich. When a Congressman leaves office he leave a rich man or women. Look at the statistics. Lobbyist give incentives to those who put into a bill what they want.
It is too late to change the direction this country is going in. I hope I am wrong.
Posted by Screwedblackandblue on 09/08/10 06:16 PM
Nice. Get back to where we belong. Making stuff. I'm 40, guess ill die poor waiting on this as they've spent the last 50 years selling our asses out. We're screwed, end of story game over.
Posted by Bruce C. on 09/08/10 04:33 PM
"The road back to fiscal sanity and a strong economy is simple: Congress just needs to get back to following the Constitution."
Unfortunately I don't think that's going to happen, not until the existing system breaks down. The current crop in Congress certainly isn't going to change, and I don't think a bunch of new Republicans will – or even can – make any difference either.
There are too many union and social "contracts" that are considered too sacred or "legal" to break short of national bankruptcy.
Ron Paul says all the right things but it's way too late for any orderly political change at this point.
Posted by Dave on 09/08/10 02:28 PM
And the Founding Fathers had a good idea about 21st Century global economics. Simpleton libertarian opinions won't help anything.
Posted by John Faulkner on 09/08/10 01:47 PM
You're exactly right, John Mahler, but what is anyone going to do about it?
Posted by Mark Y on 09/08/10 01:29 PM
One important detail Dr. Paul left out of his piece is that while those who are on the Federal Government's payroll have benefitted from Obama's economic policies, those on the state and local government's payrolls have not.
Many state and local government workers have been laid off or have received pay cuts due to the reduction in funds available for the state and local governments. This situation then provides for a further expansion of federal power because the federal government can now be the "sugar daddy" who comes in and bails out the state and local governments ' with purse strings attached, of course!
Posted by Dennis Murphy on 09/08/10 01:09 PM
Just a quick note on the post by Raymond Simons (Obama proves Abe Lincoln wrong)....Let's wait a few weeks and when the Presidents Chief of Staff takes off in the dark of night for his new Chicago Seat as (Mare/Mayor)You will then learn the truth...
Obama won't have his Puppet Master to operate his strings, the result should be clearly recognized (Arms that don't work in unison/head wobbling/legs not operating properly...and if there is a string on his tounge his speaking will be very slurred). Keep your eyes on these abilities over the next while!!
Posted by Raymond Simons on 09/08/10 12:15 PM
President Obama has proven that Abe Lincoln was wrong:
Apparently you can fool all the people all the time. Evidence of this is that our entire news media continues to refer to him as "left of center".
Actually this is true if one considers him to be "left of center" in the same sense that Stalin was "left of center".
Posted by Weeble on 09/08/10 11:46 AM
Victor. Eve tempting Adam to bite the apple of greed was a work of FICTION!
Click to view link
Posted by Victor Barney on 09/08/10 11:11 AM
Successful Economic Policies? For Whom? by Dr. Ron Paul: Yes, Dr. Paul, Congress does just need to get back to following the Constitution, but too little too late! "We the people" through an enormous women vote elected a "promised" Marxist takeover of our Republic! Just think of this, women have better verbal comprehension skills than men do on average! Isn't it interesting that it also was Eve's intellect almost 6,000 years ago that caused the fall of Adam? And, "the beat goes on!" Watch! P.S. Marxist NEVER give back what they win through the democratic process! Watch! Thank you again!
Posted by Bill on 09/08/10 11:00 AM
While I do not agree with some of the stimulus spending, to hold the administration responsible for all unemployment over 8% is illogical and petty. Paul knows who pushed for "deregulation" and who pushed the value of paper traded derivatives. It was his own branch of the REPUBLICRAT PARTY. Ron may be a mouth-piece certain ideas but he will never be President.
Posted by Kenneth on 09/08/10 10:08 AM
Amen!! Spending needs badly to decrease.