Monday, April 6, 2009

But....It Creates Jobs ! ! !

This is from Lawrence W. Reed, with an outfit called the Foundation For Economic Education:

Adlai Stevenson’s description of the journalist as one who “separates the wheat from the chaff and then prints the chaff” was never more apropos than in the Sunday, April 5 edition of the New York Times. Adam Nossiter’s page A-16 article, “Louisiana, a Test Case in Federal Aid” makes lowly chaff seem like nothing less than the cream of the crop.
Imagine a thief who spends an afternoon pick pocketing a sizable crowd. In a few hours, he’s nabbed thousands of dollars in cash and a bag full of credit cards. He then spends a small fortune at some jewelry stores and makes off with the loot as a suspicious citizen who recognizes him cries “Stop!”
If Nossiter were covering this little episode, the story in the Times the next day would read as follows: “A Good Samaritan yesterday gave several gem shops a big boost when he bought more diamonds than the stores usually sell in a month. The benefits of the spending binge were confirmed by no less an authority than the store owners themselves, who promise to hire more employees if the generous customer comes back regularly. An obviously disgruntled passerby attempted to interfere in the matter by shouting as the customer left, but he was told by an angry store manager to leave well enough alone. Meanwhile, economists at the nearby state university are hailing the increase in local GDP.”
Make these substitutions and you have the gist of the actual Nossiter story in the April 5 Times: The Good Samaritan is the federal government, the jewelry store is Louisiana and the passerby who tried to rain on their parade is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindahl. Oh, I almost forgot: the people in the crowd whose pockets got picked are representative of the taxpayers of America but it doesn’t matter because they’re not mentioned in Nossiter’s story anyway.
The Times story notes that the feds have dumped more than $50 billion in money on Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina. “Indicators suggest,” notes ace reporter Nossiter, that “dumping a large amount of reconstruction money into a confined space . . . has had a positive outcome.” It’s an “experiment” that he says bodes well for the flood of stimulus spending Washington is doling out to alleviate the nation’s financial woes.
Lo and behold, guess what has happened to construction in Louisiana? It’s up! (Apparently, not even government can spend $50 billion on construction without yielding some construction.) Nossiter quotes a professor who says this proves that “stimulus can have an effect.”

You gotta love it. You can read the rest by clicking here.


Dr Ralph said...

Much has been said around here about Al Gore and his financial supporters, and how obviously his efforts in the climate change arena are utterly corrupt.

Let's take a look at Mr Reed, from whom you so freely quote. Prior to bloviating for his current employer, he served as the head of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a "think-tank" founded largely by Dow Chemical and the insurance industry funding to battle product liability laws and Dow's silicone breast implant liability. Current funding for the Mackinac Center, where Reed is President Emeritus, comes from primarily from Dow, as well as a host of heirs to business fortunes.

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE -- ironic, eh?), his current employer, was founded by Leonard Read, general manager of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and a board memberof the 4,000-member First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, known for using religion to justify its pastor's anti-New Deal polemics.

How is Dr. Reed's credibility any better than any of the people you flog as shills for various viewpoints you disagree with?

And I'm supposed to nod my head in agreement when he argues we should have left New Orleans to rot after Katrina? What sort of monster is this guy, anyway?

WS -- get off the bus this guy's driving. It's the Crazy Talk Express.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I don't care if he's the front man for selling the Betamax cassettes of ABC after-school specials. It's a great analogy.

There's a Swiss scientist named Nils-Axel Morner who is churning out great evidence against Global Warming, or Cooling, or whatever we're supposed to fear this week. He also happens to believe in dowsing.

Martin Luther believed that little imps and devils tried to distract him while he was writing, and he would throw ink at them to get 'em out of the room. I don't believe in imps or devils, but that doesn't make Luther wrong about the infallibility of the Pope.

The analogy is still beautiful, and I really wish that Jesus had worked it into a parable.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I forgot to address your question about New Orleans.


But there's always Congress....

Dr Ralph said...

So -- if someone has a good enough analogy, you'll ignore whatever nonsense flows from their mouth? That's good news -- someday I'll come up with that analogy.

Frankly, I'm surprised you find it that compelling. The old "taxes are theft" analogy seems like such a chestnut in Libertarian circles. Not to mention that it's utter bullshit. Coming from Reed, who is demonstrably a shill for monied interests, it strikes me as an out-and-out cliche.

Taxes are theft? Oh please...

And if Reed is so adamant, why doesn't he immigrate to some place with a true Free Market system, with minimal taxes and regulation? Oh wait -- there is no such place.

I wonder why that is? You'd think in this age of mass communication the word would have gotten out on the superiority of Libertarianism and it would be springing up like daisies in a cow pasture.

In doing a little research, it seems all attempts to establish countries with a Libertarian government (including several micro-nations) have ended badly, not to mention embarrassingly.

Why the sorry track record?

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Wow... how bout this for nonsense... trying to impune a man's message because of the the church he belongs to has a pastor with leftist rantings!

Imagine! That's just not cricket, old chap.

FEE (huh huh huh...) is a pretty good organization. Well, at least in that they have Bastiat Books for cheap. And you can get a copy of "I, Pencil" by Read pretty reasonably too!

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

And taxes are theft. I don't want to give the amount that the government tells me to. If I don't pay, they put a lien on my house. If I don't pay the lien, they force me out of the house. If I refuse to leave, they crash through my door and drag me out at the point of a gun and put me in a pen.

So, gimme what I say or face the barrel of a gun.

Not theft? Yeah, you're right.

And don't say the words 'greater good' or so help me I will reach right through the screen and snatch your commie head bald... oops. Non-agression. Non-agression. repeat...

Other than, say a handful of people on an island in the Shetlands or a floating barge. What free market, libertarian countries have existed? ... other than the United States in the early 1800's? How'd that one work out? (kidding - a little)

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

And lastly, speaking of Straws and Men... I'm not sure you addressed Al Gore's pile o' money funding the cap and trade secondary markets... You just took a left turn (you take more left turns than a NASCAR race) to burn those straw effigies of Reed/Read...

And by the way, New Orleans isn't rotting thanks to the US Gov... but by local govs AND private organizations, such as one funded by Brad Pitt to bring new and interesting architecture to the rebuilding of New Orleans. Guys like him and other private organizations are the real muscles flexing to rebuild NOLA. I haven't read the 'let it rot' from him... but was it in reference to leave it to private rebuilding - or let it rot? If so, I agree.

The feds had some awesome mobile homes they brought down months late. They partially remade the levee systems - ready to break during the next Katrina (yes, I believe that is a viable function of gov't).

So, to recap... No respone re: Gore Corruption. Read/Reed = Straw Men. Private response to catastrophe is millions of times better than Federal response (Brownie in charge or not). Lastly, left leaning Dr. Ralph takes many left turns... and I've officially worn out that NASCAR joke.

Dr Ralph said...

TLG -- Hard day at the office, Comrade? I feel your pain. Put your feet up and have a vodka and tonic.

My apologies for continuing to agitate on the subject of taxes. This close to April 15 it's in poor taste. However...

I dare say you are in some walks of your life using services paid for by taxes, be they federal or local. Could some of them be paid for by privatizing? Maybe, but they aren't private now and you're using them.

Using something without paying for it -- is that theft or just being a freeloader?

Or are you suggesting we each only pay for the services we want or need? If so I'd like my share of the cost of the Iraq war back. Just direct deposit it into my checking account.

Re: NOLA after Katrina; don't put me in the awkward position of defending the Bush administration cronies and slimebags who clusterf**ked that fiasco. It was execution not mission that was the problem.

Re: your recap. Gore/Reed - I agree we'll never agree. Taxes - too painful to discuss in April. NOLA - yet another Bush f**k up. Finally - I find making left turns and right turns useful in my life. Maybe that's why I'm not so much a NASCAR fan.

Your mileage may vary.