Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Days Are Ahead!

I woke up in a happy mood today. Why? Because I thought that President Obama's policies are so disastrous they will put a final nail in the coffin of socialism. In the short term the pain will be excruciating. People will continue to lose jobs, homes, and struggle with the human emotions associated with such real pain.

Earlier this year I predicted a 12% unemployment rate by the end of 2010. I am beginning to think it could get even higher because of the President's cap and trade, healthcare, deficits, and taxes on job creators policies. If you pay attention to what economists say, you'll notice they keep pushing back their recovery predictions. Some said back in April and May that we'd be recovering about now. We're not. Now they say it will come in the Fall. Soon it will be next year. The point is that there is no reason to believe in an economic recovery given this toxic environment. The general public doesn't seem to realize that economic predictions beyond 3 to 6 months are worthless. You learn that in econometrics and forecasting classes. I'm not clear why they even offer up a prediction about 2010?

In the long term, these policies that we're seeing today will be used as part of the teaching in economics, political science, and other fields as an example of how not to conduct public policy. One of the reasons I am so shocked by the current policies is that I remember having the 1970's (and to a lesser extent the 1930's) used as an example of how badly things can go wrong if misguided policies, like the ones we're following now, are adopted. I thought we learned these lessons? Didn't we? We know what happens with these types of policies similar ones have been tried before and yielded conclusive evidence that they don't work. I believe that before it's all said and done, these policies will dwarf the 1970's in terms of catastrophe. If what doesn't work isn't already clear, it will be.

History takes time to work ideas out. People and old ideas about utopia die hard. There are still people who actually call themselves Communists, even now after all that we now know about how intellectually bankrupt it is. I still believe that people retain a bit of common sense. There's always a balance between philosophical and moral vision and pragmatism. When a vision is bad it eventually makes that clear as it plays out in real time. We are seeing one playing right now. I wouldn't prefer to have to demonstrate the stupidity of current political liberalism. But at least future generations will learn what not to do. All is not lost.

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