Posted in Big Government, Debt, Deficit, Government Spending, Keynes, Keynesian, News Appearance, Tax Increase, Taxation, tagged Big Government, Debt, Deficit, Keynesian Economics, News Appearance on July 15, 2010|
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This MSNBC interview was halfway through before I got a chance to talk, so I was beginning to think I was a victim of bias, but then the host mentioned Greece degenerating like a scene out of Atlas Shrugged. I’m not sure what to think, but I did get in some good shots at Keynesianism.
I was amused to see that my left-wing debating partner thinks that economics is sort of like a high school popularity contest.
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Posted in Government Spending, Jobs, Keynes, Keynesian, Obama, stimulus, Unemployment, tagged Government Spending, Jobs, Keynes, Keynesian Economics, Keynesianism, Obama, stimulus, Unemployment on July 15, 2010|
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The White House is claiming that the so-called stimulus created between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs even though total employment has dropped by more than 2.3 million since Obama took office. The Administration justifies this legerdemain by asserting that the economy actually would have lost about 5 million jobs without the new government spending.
I’ve decided to adopt this clever strategy to spice up my social life. Next time I see my buddies, I’m going to claim that I enjoyed a week of debauchery with the Victoria’s Secret models. And if any of them are rude enough to point out that I’m lying, I’ll simply explain that I started with an assumption of spending -7 nights with the supermodels. And since I actually spent zero nights with them, that means a net of +7. Some of you may be wondering whether it makes sense to begin with an assumption of “-7 nights,” but I figure that’s okay since Keynesians begin with the assumption that you can increase your prosperity by transferring money from your left pocket to your right pocket.
Since I’m a gentleman, I’m not going to share any of the intimate details of my escapades, but I will include an excerpt from an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal
about the Obama Administration’s make-believe jobs.
President Obama’s chief economist announced that the plan had “created or saved” between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs and raised GDP by 2.7% to 3.2% through June 30. Don’t you feel better already? Christina Romer went so far as to claim that the 3.5 million new jobs that she promised while the stimulus was being debated in Congress will arrive “two quarters earlier than anticipated.” Yup, the official White House line is that the plan is working better than even they had hoped. We almost feel sorry for Ms. Romer having to make this argument given that since February 2009 the U.S. economy has lost a net 2.35 million jobs. Using the White House “created or saved” measure means that even if there were only three million Americans left with jobs today, the White House could claim that every one was saved by the stimulus. …White House economists…said the unemployment rate would peak at 9% without the stimulus (there’s your counterfactual) and that with the stimulus the rate would stay at 8% or below. In other words, today there are 700,000 fewer jobs than Ms. Romer predicted we would have if we had done nothing at all. If this is a job creation success, what does failure look like? …All of these White House jobs estimates are based on the increasingly discredited Keynesian spending “multiplier,” which according to White House economist Larry Summers means that every $1 of government spending will yield roughly $1.50 in higher GDP. Ms. Romer thus plugs her spending data into the Keynesian computer models and, presto, out come 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs, even if the real economy has lost jobs. To adapt Groucho Marx: Who are you going to believe, the White House computer models, or your own eyes?
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There are some things I don’t like about this video (the implication that maybe some of the money we’re wasting in the War on Drugs should instead be wasted on other programs), and I also wonder how important it is to scale back the welfare state before making drugs legal, but the core message is completely sound. The War on Drugs is a failure.
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