Keynesian Economics and the Fallacy of Boosting Growth by Destroying Wealth | International Liberty

Yet Keynesian economics has “perplexing durability,” probably because the theory tells politicians that their vice of profligacy is actually a virtue.

Jeff Jacoby explains why this is poisonous economic analysis.

Could anything be more absurd? The shattering losses caused by hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires, and other calamities are grievous misfortunes that obviously leave society poorer. Vast sums of money may be spent afterward to repair and rebuild, but society will still be poorer from the damage caused by the storm or other disaster. Every dollar spent on cleanup and reconstruction is a dollar that could have been spent to enlarge the nation’s reservoir of material assets. Instead, it has to be spent replacing what was lost. …No, hurricanes are not good for the economy. Neither are floods, earthquakes, or massacres. When windows are shattered, all of humanity is left materially worse off. There is no financial “glint of silver lining.” To claim otherwise is delusional.

Source: Keynesian Economics and the Fallacy of Boosting Growth by Destroying Wealth | International Liberty

Can the Government Run the Economy? – YouTube

“The economy isn’t a machine, and the government can’t force it to act like one”

Does “Wagner’s Law” Mean Libertarians Should Acquiesce to Big Government? | International Liberty

Back in October, Will Wilkinson of the Niskanen Center wrote a very interesting – albeit depressing – article about the potential futility of trying to reduce the size of government. He starts with the observation that government tends to get bigger as nations get richer.

“Wagner’s Law” says that as an economy’s per capita output grows larger over time, government spending consumes a larger share of that output. …Wagner’s Law names a real, observed, robust empirical pattern. …It’s mainly the positive relationship between rising demand for welfare services/transfers and rising GDP per capita that drives Wagner’s Law.

I’ve also written about Wagner’s Law, mostly to debunk the silly leftist interpretation that bigger government causes more wealth (in other words, they get the causality backwards), but also to point out that other policies matter and that some big-government nations have wisely mitigated the harmful economic impact of excessive spending and taxation by having very pro-market policies in areas such as trade and regulation.

In any event, Will includes a chart showing that there certainly has been a lot more redistribution spending in the United States over the past 70 years, so it certainly is true that the political process has produced results consistent with Wagner’s Law. As America has become richer, voters and politicians have figured out how to redistribute ever-larger amounts of money.

There’s a lot of speculation in Washington about what a Trump Administration will do on government spending. Based on his rhetoric it’s hard to know whether he’ll be a big-spendin…

Source: Does “Wagner’s Law” Mean Libertarians Should Acquiesce to Big Government? | International Liberty

The Myth and Reality of Trickle-Down Economics | International Liberty

…allowing everyone to pursue all the opportunities they can in the marketplace, with the minimal level of taxation and regulation, will create generalized prosperity. The value of cutting taxes is not just cutting them for higher income groups, but for everyone. Letting everyone keep more of the value they create through exchange means that everyone has more incentive to create such value in the first place, whether it’s through the ownership of capital or finding new uses for one’s labor.

Now that we’ve dispensed with the silly left-wing caricature of trickle-down economics, let’s discuss how there actually is a sensible way to think about the issue.

Source: The Myth and Reality of Trickle-Down Economics | International Liberty

The Recipe for Job Creation: Less “Help” from Washington | International Liberty

The entire video was very concise, lasting less than four minutes, so it only scratched the surface. For those seeking more information on the topic, I would add the following points.

  1. Businesses will never create jobs unless they expect that new employees will generate enough revenue to cover not only their wages, but also the cost of taxes, regulations, and mandates. This is why policies that sometimes sound nice (higher minimum wages, health insurance mandates, etc) actually are very harmful.
  2. Redistribution programs make leisure more attractive than labor. This is not only bad for the overall economy because of lower labor force participation. This is why policies that sometime sound nice (unemployment benefits,food stamps, health subsidies, etc) actually are very harmful.

The American economy is in the doldrums. And has been for most this century thanks to bad policy under both Obama and Bush. So what’s needed to boost growth and create jobs? A new video from …

Source: The Recipe for Job Creation: Less “Help” from Washington | International Liberty

Notwithstanding Keynesian Fantasies, Redistribution Does Not Stimulate Growth — International Liberty


Back in 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually claimed that paying people not to work would be good for the economy. Wow, that’s almost as bizarre as Paul Krugman’s assertion that war is good for growth. Professor Dorfman of the University of Georgia remembers Pelosi’s surreal moment and cites it in his column in Forbes, […]

via Notwithstanding Keynesian Fantasies, Redistribution Does Not Stimulate Growth — International Liberty