Thursday, December 13, 2012

Advice from the 1930s on the Effects of Government Spending and OPM

Progressives have long believed government spending is a force for good. And, of course, sometimes it is just that.

However, the tendency to waste money and misdirect precious resources and time is ever present when OPM is at stake and politicians are empowered to spend OPM on whatever they decide will be best for society as a whole.

Let's see what famed journalist and critic H.L. Mencken had to say about all this in the Great Depression era of the 1930s in Notable & Quotable:

"H.L. Mencken, writing in the 1930s, collected in "A Mencken Chrestomathy":

Here is the perfect pattern of a professional world-saver. His whole life has been devoted to the art and science of spending other people's money. He has saved millions of the down-trodden from starvation, pestilence, cannibalism, and worse—always at someone else's expense, and usually at the taxpayer's. . . .

Of such sort are the young wizards who now sweat to save the plain people from the degradations of capitalism, which is to say, from the degradations of working hard, saving their money, and paying their way. This is what the New Deal and its Planned Economy come to in practise—a series of furious and irrational raids upon the taxpayer, planned casually by professional do-gooders lolling in smoking cars, and executed by professional politicians bent only upon building up an irresistible machine."

Summing Up

What Mencken said in the 1930s still rings true today.

People are people and "world-savers" are still saving the world.

Self reliance is a no-no to the "world-savers," but the do-gooders somehow never manage to save people from themselves, no matter how wise their decisions, how much time or how much OPM they have at their disposal to spend.

OPM is expensive and largely ineffective, but to the government knows best gang of "world-savers," there's never enough OPM to get the job done. 

Some things never change.

Thanks. Bob.

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