Government Planning Is Killing the Economy

Friedrich Hayek warned more than half a century ago that central planning doesn't work. Here’s why:

  • Central Planners (government) makes a plan
  • The plan includes specific expectations
  • The expectations are never, ever, realized
  • A “crisis” ensues
  • So the planners demand more control
  • And create more plans
  • Ad hoc
  • Willy nilly
  • Capriciously
  • So you must wait for things to settle down to make your decision

Today’s Wall Street Journal article about the fiscal cliff demonstrates the futility of central planning:

"We're all sitting on the sidelines right now wondering what's going to happen to us," said John Odland, chief financial officer at MacMillan-Piper Inc., a freight-transport firm in Seattle. "A lot of my contemporaries are feeling the same way, saying, 'Let's just wait and see what these knuckleheads do.' "

Why should private, free citizens have to wait on government for anything?

Here’s a better solution: get the damn government out of the economic planning business.

It’s true that individuals are no better at planning than government experts. But they’re no worse, either.  The difference, then, is the number of people affected by a plan that doesn’t work.

If Joe Shit the Ragman’s plan for his business or his family or his vacation fails, who’s affected?  Joe, maybe his wife, maybe his employees. And it stops there.

If Barack Obama’s plan or Ben Bernanke’s plan or Tiny Tim Geithner’s plan for the economy fails, who’s affected?  All of us.

Moreover, if Joe’s plan fails, it’s up to him and him alone to sacrifice while a better plan takes shape for him and is family.

But if a government plan fails, the government invents new powers, which always come at the expense of your personal power, new taxes, and new plans. From the same WSJ article:

Each scenario involves prolonged uncertainty. Most consumers would start to pare their spending after receiving smaller paychecks due to higher payroll-tax withholding. Income-tax refunds for 2012 could be delayed while the Internal Revenue Service programs its computers to account for tax changes. Government agencies could start cutting back, hurting employees and suppliers. Many other employers likely would slow hiring or cut jobs. And investors could eventually look at those risks and send stocks lower, threatening a downward spiral in consumer and business spending.

We are throw more than good money after bad; we are throwing away good lives after bad.

The only solution to the fiscal cliff problem is to STOP CENTRAL PLANNING, restore power to individuals to make decisions, and reinvigorate a sense of community so people are more likely to help their neighbors.

The Courage of Roy Blunt

When  you vote for a candidate for high office, sometimes you do so with fingers crossed. You just don’t know how they’ll handle the new responsibilities.  Will they succumb to pressure and influence?  Or will they remain true?

Luckily for us, Senator-elect Roy Blunt showed his courage in a recent Wall Street Journal article about the Tea Party and the GOP.

In a year when voters overwhelming demanded changes to business as usual in Washington, Roy Blunt showed he has the rectitude to stand strong for the tried and true practices of obfuscation, political double-speak, and deflection.

Take earmarks.  The Tea Party’s Contract From America demanded that Congress ban earmarks from deficit budgets and require full disclosure for earmarks at all other times.  Will Roy Blunt bow to the fanatical will of the people by swearing off earmarks?

Hell, no.  For that matter, to demonstrate his brave adherence to the Washington party line, Roy won’t even give a firm answer to the question.  In an era when meaning what you say and saying what you mean is treasured, Senator-elect Blunt is unafraid to dodge the earmark question by pointing out that Ron Paul requests many earmarks for his district in Texas. From WSJ:

"Rand [Paul] doesn't agree with his dad on that. His dad is a leading advocate of earmarks on this side of the building. I'll let the Pauls work that out and then I'll see where they come down." We share a laugh over that.

Now that’s spine. Encourage a little domestic dispute to determine the fate of earmarks.

Any run-of-the-mill Tea Party politician might have given the simple, easy answer.  For example, “You know, I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to requesting earmarks.  But with the trillions in debt and with the new understanding that our spending is destroying America’s future, I’m going to support the tea party’s Contract and co-sponsor legislation severely curtailing earmarks.  In fact, I think we should ban them altogether from budgets with a projected deficit.”

Yes, an answer like that is cowardly.  It panders to the sentiments of 60 percent of  the people who sent Roy to Washington.  And such a straightforward answer wimpishly admits complicity in the monstrous national debt. Who wants leaders to take responsibility for their actions?  

Congratulations to Roy Blunt for showing the testicularity to pretend the Tea Party never happened.