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February 26, 2009

Comments

JL, KCinDC

I can explain it for you but I can't understand it for you.

Nice try at a comeback, but if you don't understand Obama's suggestion about creating green industries as a basis for the recovery, it's you who is having the problems understanding.

To "d'd'd'dave":

A very wise person (and a relatively wealthy small business person and former associate of mine) once made a point to me: the clearest evidence for airframe icing, that bane of pilots everywhere, comes from... ice. You can get the forecast, look at the cloud cover, look up the temperature to dew-point spread and make a guess, but if you see ice on a wing, then you know the ice exists.

Likewise, you can talk about investment and incentives and trickle down and multipliers all you like, but the real test of an economic policy comes from the results. For at least eight years, the American government tried to shore up the economy by cutting taxes and claiming to hold the line on spending, not caring about the inequality between rich and poor, and what happened? A trillion plus dollar train wreck happened. You can't use theories to argue against the facts. Your government, your society tried the low tax, low regulation route, and it failed catastrophically. All of the discussion of the current economic policies needs to happen with that simple fact firmly in mind. President Obama would not now occupy the White House, and his policies would not stand a chance in the Congress American voters would have elected if the Republican policies had succeeded. Forget that, and you can easily drift off in a discussion based on fanciful theories about what should work.

On the fairness of a progressive taxation system, I have two related comments. First, money exists at least partly as a way of apportioning labour. Someone who figures out a way to provide a good or a service without labour will generally do so, and undercut the competition. So a person with more money has, in general, the ability to command the labour of other people. This raises the first argument; if you choose to accumulate the resources to control the labour of other people, should you not also make some contribution on their behalf to the common resources (infrastructure, defence, etc.) that we all need to live? The second comment flows out of that: the market does not have the moral competence to judge human beings, because the market judges commodities, and that word does not apply to human beings.

There are so many interesting comments here. Personally, I can hardly wait til I have the "option" to buy health insurance at an "affordable" cost... or, heh... since we are going to have guarenteed approval, maybe I should just wait until I am ill and require critical care... and use the money until then to buy nice vacations, and cool stuff!

yeah... I don't think this will work well... sorry. I would like for it to work well, but I really don't see it.

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