What do we hear now from this President-Elect Obama, supposed harbinger of change? Consider this contradictory news headline: “Obama promotes fiscal restraint, big spending.”
In reality, this is the same sort of political mumbo-jumbo we’ve seen from mainstream Keynesian economic theory since The Great Depression. Where has it gotten us? Since the Great Depression, we had the Great Society, (a huge government “stimulus,” so to speak) with its massive government spending, followed by the stagflation conditions of the 1970’s (economic stagnation, including with respect to unemployment, while inflation rose). A 1982 recession followed; we can recall the 1987 stock market crash, the 1992 recession, the dot.com bust, the 2001 recession, and now this debaucle. Whether you understand economics as it is taught in university courses nowadays or not, the plain, simple economic fruits are easy to see.
Why are we going back to the same philosophy that has brought all of this economic turmoil?
By their fruits we shall know them, we are told. A corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. Some may be uncomfortable applying scripture to economic systems. But was not one of the great indicators of Red Russia’s failure its starvation, its oppression, and its turmoil, or in other words, the fruits of its economic system? Would not the fruits of prosperity and liberty indicate a good nation?
It should also be noted that this sounds remarkably similar in tone or connotation to the decider. He may not go out and say it, but that’s ultimately what he’s doing: he’s the one to decide where the money gets spent and where it does not. And somehow, he’s better qualified than any of the other central economic planners we’ve seen in the last century or so. Or so we are led to believe.
Don’t believe the rhetoric. Barack Obama is not more qualified to run the economy than George Bush, or anyone else. Looking at charts and following quantitative data and computer models have not forecasted, much less prevented, this current economic crisis, to name one example. Why do we trust this stuff to get us out of it? Economies are far too complicated to be coordinated and run by one man (or a team of men) successfully.