Friday, January 16, 2009

A little light reading

Considering how cold it is today (where's global warming when you need it?), I decided I needed something to keep me warm. So I'm reading the 'stimulus' legislation - sure to make your blood boil.

The text of the draft House Democratic economic stimulus bill (spending side, not tax side) is now online. As is the draft committee report.

So far, the most telling line - and perhaps all you need to know - is this, from the draft report:

The aggressive spending, regulatory and monetary reforms of the New Deal revived the economy:

When you start with a false premise, you will make bad decisions. The solution for the economy is not for government to borrow and spend and 'create' temporary jobs that end when the government spending does.

As an aside - could you please explain to me how another $650,000,000 for analog-to-digital converter boxes and education is going to 'stimulate' the economy and provide 'long-term job growth'??? And Democrats say there's no pork in the bill.


Mad Jack said...


The solution to Ohio's poor economy is not found in a single action or program. For instance, having the State government spend money won't fix the economy.

I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Before I write about fixing the economy, let me define what the economy should be after it's fixed and working well. I'll bet the legislators never did this, but I'm going to try. I'll define Ohio's economy by observations that can be easily watched and measured. In no particular order, a successful economy will have:

Low unemployment. The unemployment rate should be around one percent, meaning that there will always be a few hard core unemployable people, but outside of that everyone who wants to work should be able to get a job. Ideally this rate is measured by counting the people who are able and willing to work, not the number of active unemployment claims.

Labor shortage. Anyone in search of a job should have a choice of several positions to choose from. A labor shortage will drive wages up, which in turn provides the State with more tax money.

High velocity of money. Money should be changing hands 8 or 10 times within the State, as opposed to the 2 or 3 times we have now.

Low interest rates. If the cost of money is low it will encourage investment.

Extremely high number of small to medium size businesses. Ohio doesn't need Ford, Toyota, McDonald's, Wal-Mart and other fortune 1000 companies. Ohio needs zillions of proprietorship companies that employ small numbers of people. This is especially true in the banking industry - Ohio doesn't need National City Bank so much as it needs each National City Bank branch office to be its own, independent bank.

High productivity. Generally speaking, the vast majority of people who are employed in private industry are not ironing socks and making coffee for the office staff. High worker productivity means more income is available and increases the purchasing power of all workers.

High export volume of finished goods. The goal is to import raw materials and export finished goods.

Low consumption of imported finished goods. Don't import anything that can be manufactured locally.

This is a pretty ideological list, and I've undoubtedly forgotten a few items. Feel free to chime in or correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this would be an ideal economy.

Before we even discuss how the Ohio state government can help to provide this kind of economy, the government must first define its primary purpose and duties, then follow that definition. I'm not going to try that as I'm certain to get it wrong. However, I believe that the government should provide these services and have these characteristics:

Protect the civil rights of the individuals as enumerated in the US B.O.R., whether people are citizens or not. Provide swift, decisive criminal penalties for the violation of civil rights as committed by any government or individual.

Protect the borders of the State.

Provide decisive relief to the individual residents of the State during a catastrophic disaster.

Protect the natural resources of the State, whether publicly or privately owned. Provide swift, harsh criminal penalties for violations.

Provide inhabitants with the right to work.

Stringently limit social services to able bodied adults. If an individual is eighteen or over and is of sound mind and body, Ohio should be the toughest place in the world to get a free welfare ride.

Provide the basic necessities of life to individuals who are unable, either mentally or physically, to care for themselves.

Eliminate income tax and inheritance tax.

Eliminate or stringently limit financial dependence on the Federal government.

Eliminate, as much as possible, the authority of the Federal government to act within the State.

Ensure that the law of the land is simple and easily understood by the common man.

Certainly I've made mistakes here, and there's more that I could add, but I'm subscribing to the old cowboy adage, "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging."

Hot Dog Man said...

Hi Mad Jack - there is one flaw in your conclusion at the end -- "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging." -- While LOGIC would dictate that one stops digging, the government/democrat (and some republicans) point of view is that if you find yourself in a hole and can't get out, well it is time for a larger shovel. It appears that at the Federal level they are looking at a gigantic scoop shovel and the states & local governments will follow. why is it that logic flees after elections?

Timothy W Higgins said...


If this is what you consider light reading, you must have knocked off "Atlas Shrugged" during commercials of a Super Bowl. :-)

Maggie said...

Or perhaps I was being facetious?

Timothy W Higgins said...

Wait a minute, are you talking about that stuff like sarcasm, irony, and metaphor? Sorry, that kind of thing is way over my head, I'm a Conservative.

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