Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Imagine There's No Money

It's easy if you try. In fact, it's easier than ever before.

Though I appreciate the banter yesterday, I can't help but point out that the so called "Free-Market Capitalists" that stopped by yesterday have some 'splainin' to do. The market just sank again.

For the record, here is my problem with "Free Market" economics. First, it's a total misnomer--the bailout of AIG today is just an example of that. People who believe in the so-called "Free Market" actually believe in just being left alone when times are good. When times are bad, Uncle Sam is called in to bail them out. That's not a free market. That's a co-dependent market. (For the record, I'm pretty sure these people also think that pulling one's self up by one's bootstraps is always a possibility--a topic for another day...we're talking macro, not micro.) If you want to bail out important companies, that's fine--at least say so.

Second, I do believe that corporations should be taxed fully. What do I mean by this? I believe creating loopholes is a bad idea. Tax credits for good behavior (providing health care, keeping jobs in the States, etc.) is a great idea. But tax credits require monitoring--and if you claim to want a "small" government, you can't also claim that tax credits are a good thing. The two ideas are incompatible. The reason the tax code is so fat is because corporations and people have taken advantage of every inch of that thing. And in the same way in which a bad parent disciplines, the government has seen fit to create more rules instead of enforcing the ones they have--because enforcing creates more government.

Which brings me to my third point--government is not the enemy. The fact that there are examples of governmental waste does not make it unfit. In fact, there are studies that show that government-funded and operated Medicaid programs are much more efficient than privately owned plans (yet conservatives want the tax-credit-for-private-insurance-program...go figure). The difference? No one profits. And frankly, no one should profit from health care.

These are the facts. I appreciate the comments yesterday, but many of them had to do with Obama's personality or McCain's alleged "maverick" streak. Let's talk basic economic facts. That's a conversation I'd love to have.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

The government bailouts are akin to granting clemency to convicted criminals. Another analogy would be a methadone program for herion addicts. Perhaps its time to think prevention and place safeguards to see this excess is checked before it is totally out of control.


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