|The Twilight of the Educated Gods||Mixing up Mamet, Hayek, Hitchens, and Sowell|
by Christopher Chantrill
June 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm
ECONOMICS is too hard. Who can tell from deficits and multipliers, after all? So it is time to dumb economics down, and make it simple enough for a baby to understand. Economics for Babies. This could be a publishing sensation to equal the Dummies phenomenon. Here is how it works.
Drill, Baby, Drill. Our liberal friends are convinced, because their tame climate scientists have told them so, that conventional energy sources are either doomed, as in Peak Oil, or evil, as in coal and nuclear energy. Its a pity that horizontal fracturing is making monkeys out of the Peak Oil chappies. The only way to approach energy is to let the Rockefellers and the Fricks and the Texans and the Albertans and the North Dakotans go for it. If they make a messand they willthen we will make em clean it up.
Cut, Baby, Cut. Our liberal friends are convinced that, given sufficiently rigorous policy analysis and sufficiently inspired political leadership, they can design and build the bridge to the future with government programs. But the truth is that government spending, all government spending, is a waste, starting with the Pentagon and defense spending. But, wasteful as they are, some government programs are necessary. Alexander Hamilton laid out the case for a national defense in the early Federalist Papers. Almost all other government programs are pure waste; their only purpose is to buy votes for politicians with your money. Alas, they do more than that: they fray the cords of community. When people have to work together in voluntary cooperation to secure retirement income, health care, and education, they build community. When the government does it, the people fall to squabbling and grabbing their piece of the pie. So the only thing to do with government is to cut.
Grow, Baby, Grow. Our liberal friends are convinced that government must invest in the infrastructure to build public goods. That is the rationale behind President Obamas crazed push for very fast trains, clean green energy, and the rest of the liberal crony capitalist agenda. But almost all big ideas for government investment have ended in tears, from government credit allocation to government energy policy. Theres a very simple reason for this. Politicians are experts in winning elections, and businessmen are experts in growing the economy. Politicians should stick to politics, and let businessmen get on with business. Come on liberals: we all know how to grow the economy. You do it will low tax rates on people and low taxes on jobs.
Debt, Baby, Debt. What is it about the national debt? Under Alexander Hamilton the US national debt ignited an economic boom. Under President Obama it has sent the economy on a Recovery to Nowhere. How come Hamilton was so smart? Its simple. He stole his financial system from the Dutch. It was the Dutch that invented the modern financial system in about 1600 complete with banks, bond market, stock market, national debt, and a hard-money central bank. It worked so well that the Dutch won their independence from Spain. Then the Brits imported Dutch finance in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and built a world empire. Alexander Hamilton imported Dutch finance into the US in 1792. Confidence in US credit got so high that President Jefferson could borrow the money to buy Louisiana and enable his successors to conquer a continent. But gambler John Law taught the world how to screw up Dutch finance. He took it to France in 1715, sweet-talked a couple of dukes, turned it into a confidence trick, and destroyed the credit of the French ancien regime. Today we call John Laws system stimulus or Keynesian economics and we know where it ends: sovereign default. How can you tell sound Dutch finance from the inflationism of Keynes and Law? Its the difference between confidence and confidence trick.
Next year is election year, and patriotic Americans will want to vent their frustration at a failed Obamanomics. What better way could they choose than public recitations of Baby Economics. I suggest that the flash crowds of young Americans chanting U.S.A.! in front of the White House upon the death of OBL and also upon the occasion of an LSU leftie trying to burn an American flag might like to blend a little Baby Economics into their chants. For starters, why not warm up with U.S.A.! Drill, Baby, Drill! U.S.A.!
Real economics is pretty simple. A baby could understand it. The reason its gotten so complicated is that politicians are always trying to game the economy to buy votes. Spend, Baby, Spend!
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America