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Ignorance in action

By Chris Clancy
web posted October 10, 2011

It's not unusual for liberals to defend stimulus spending by saying that things would have been even worse without it. This is what is known as a counterfactual argument. To make matters worse they then go on to say that the real problem was that the stimulus spending was not big enough in the first place!

It's enough to make anyone weaken.

Unfortunately, such arguments can gain traction - especially when so many people are worried about being pink-slipped or desperate for work.

Ask almost anyone what they want from the government and the answer will be one word - "Jobs!"

Then along comes President Obama with a new stimulus bill – all $447 billion of it – he knows that the GOP will reject it. He can then blame the continuing or worsening unemployment situation on them.

Can politics get any worse than this?

Given the same policies, what could the Democrats possibly achieve with a second term? It doesn't bear thinking about.

The plain truth is that stimulus spending is a lie. It doesn't work., never has and never will. This was clear right from to the beginning of the so-called "Keynesian experiment":

"During the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt initiated massive public-works programs to improve the nation's infrastructure in hopes of putting people back to work and jumpstarting the economy.  The construction efforts were staggering.  According to Conrad Black:

The government hired about 60 percent of the unemployed in public-works and conservation projects that planted a billion trees, saved the whooping crane, modernized rural America, and built such diverse projects as the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh, the Montana state capitol, much of the Chicago lakefront, New York City's Lincoln Tunnel and Triborough Bridge, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the heroic aircraft carriers Enterprise and Yorktown. They also built or renovated 2,500 hospitals, 45,000 schools, 13,000 parks and playgrounds, 7,800 bridges, 700,000 miles of roads, and a thousand airfields.

Yet these extraordinary accomplishments were not enough to pull the nation out of the Depression. Neither were the millions of jobs generated by this monumental work.." Richard W. Fulmer.

It's too easy to say that the lesson was not learned. The same mistakes have been repeated too often.

The truth is that the lesson was ignored.

Politically, doing what was right would have lost votes.

Both parties were guilty in the past. But now a critical point has been reached. The USA is staring at financial and economic oblivion – closely followed by political, social and cultural collapse.

The GOP presidential candidates appear to have accepted the lesson. Republicans have always talked about it in the past but now, I believe, they are really going to act on it. The growth of government and out-of- control spending has to stop. The only hope of avoiding catastrophe is to put the whole thing in reverse.

The Democrat leadership refuses to learn the lesson.

On the face of it this seems strange? They are, after all, highly educated and intelligent people?

Why do they persist in the delusion that stimulus spending will create additional real jobs?

The answer goes beyond ideology. It has more to do with human nature.

They have built lucrative high-profile careers based on a socialist belief system which simply doesn't work. To them we can add armies of academics and MSM "journalists" who have done the same. There's a lot at stake in terms of reputations and cash.

So what do they do now?

Admit that they were wrong all along?

Certainly not. In order to preserve their lifestyles and credibility - forget about integrity - they'll continue to hammer away on the same old broken drum and to hell with all the honest and decent people, many now in dire straits, who they purport to be "fighting" for.

The worst part is not that they are selling a lie to the American people but that they know it's a lie.

And just to help things along Obama and his administration are playing the class warfare card for all it's worth.

Set the poor off against the rich.

Manipulate and use them – who cares – just so long as we save our own enormous egos and  failed left-wing asses!

The terrible thing is that they may get away with it – that Obama may get re-elected.

There is nothing more frightening, so the saying goes, as ignorance in action.

And speaking of such ignorance, observe the people marching up and down Wall Street for the last two weeks. They've taken the bait - been sucked into the lie – it's all the fault of the rich – they refuse to pay their "fair share".

The government is trying to paint itself as blameless. They can put the country back to work but the Republican party, backed by those dreaded "capitalists", won't let them!

How many other useful idiots have fallen for the lie?

The protests appear to be growing and spreading somewhat. Their favourite word is "exploitation". In their terms it can be defined as the utilization of another person or group for selfish purposes.

Spot on – by this definition they are being exploited - the only problem is they don't seem to understand who is actually doing the exploiting!

If the democrats get a second term the masses may well take to the streets - and set about stringing up the ones who have actually brought them more wealth and prosperity than the world has ever known - rather than those who are prepared to see it wilfully destroyed in order to save their own  necks. ESR

Chris Clancy lived in China for seven years. Most of this time was spent as associate professor of financial accounting at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Wuhan City, Hubei Province. He now lives in Thailand where he spends his time reading, writing, lecturing and, whenever he gets the chance, doing his level best to spread Austrian economics.

 

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