Friday, May 22, 2015

Sound Bite Politics, Government Mandates and Freebies

Free college is a hot topic these days. But how can college be free? Are the professors and administrators going to donate their services? Of course not.

See Student Debt Is Hot Topic for 2016 Field which is subtitled 'Republicans focus on driving down tuition prices, Democrats on pumping more federal funds into public universities.' Of one thing we can all be sure -- whatever the case, in the end, taxpayers will pay --- both current and future ones.

19th century French political economist and theorist Frederic Bastiat said this about government, "The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else." Some things never change.

Economic growth is required for the payment of our bills. We don't have enough economic growth. Is this a permanent condition and the way forward? Let's hope not.

We can debate minimum wage laws, free college, Social Security, ObamaCare and even how much to spend on the nation's defense. But somebody's going to have to pay for what we spend.

There's no free lunch. See Health Insurers Seek Healthy Rate Boosts which is subtitled 'Proposals set the stage for debate over federal health law's impact.'

Don't Be So Sure the Economy Will Return to Normal has this to say in part about what's ahead for our American economy:

"It is hard to avoid the feeling that our current economic problems are more than just a cyclical downturn. We know that the economy has gone through some bad times. But what exactly are we experiencing?

One relatively optimistic view is that observed deficiencies — like slow growth in real wages and the overall economy, persistently low interest rates and low levels of labor participation — are merely temporary. In this view, these problems will dwindle after manageable problems like high levels of public or household debt have been reduced.

Another commonly heard view is that we made the mistake of letting the last recession linger too long, allowing some of its features to became entrenched. That analysis suggests that if we correct past policy errors, whatever they may have been, an underlying normality will re-emerge

No one knows whether or how much of a reset may be underway. Yet I can’t help but wonder which features of current data might prove harbingers of larger, more permanent changes to come. . . .

The debate over the economy these days isn’t just about income inequality and what should or should not be done about it. Perhaps the most crucial issue is whether economies will return to normal conditions of steady growth, or whether we are witnessing a fundamental transformation, unveiled in bits and pieces. Nominations for the nature of that transformation include a “robot economy,” a new political economy where elites have too much power or, perhaps, a new global economy where the United States no longer holds such a dominant position, to the detriment of American firms and workers.

No one knows whether or how much of a reset may be underway. Yet I can’t help but wonder which features of current data might prove harbingers of larger, more permanent changes to come."

Summing Up

In the end, the future is up to us --- each and all of us --- not the politicians.

We soon will have another expensive, emotional and largely sound bite driven national election season underway.

But don't look for any of the politicians to seriously address, let alone propose, workable and effective private sector initiated solutions for our huge problems with slow economic growth and its debilitating effects on all Americans.

In fact, don't even expect a serious discussion of the real issues facing our nation's future health and prosperity.

The politicians either don't know what to say or don't think we want to hear the truth.

Today's American politics is very much a 'Gruber' fantasy land where the truth isn't told or even welcome, things are 'free' and a return to 'normal' lies just around the corner.

It's a 'vote for me and I'll set you free' falsehood.

Sadly, that's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

No comments:

Post a Comment