American Elephants

How Do You Fix an Economy? Not That Way! by The Elephant's Child

After eight years of a presidency that liberals despised, presided over by a man who smirks, and squints and mispronounces ‘nuclear’, a man you have likened to Hitler and evil incarnate, you finally get a man who, endowed with a halo, seems to represent everything good in liberalism — elected to the White House.

Then after nearly four years, that man has not only failed to fix a failing economy. but made it far, far worse. What to do? Troy Senik at Ricochet points us to a “barking mad” article by Mother Jones’ Clive Thompson. Thompson proposes the idea that the nation should actually be aspiring towards an economy with no growth.

To move away from growth, we’ll all have to work a lot less…Handled correctly, this could bring about an explosion of free time that could utterly transform the way we live, no-growth economists say. It could lead to a renaissance in the arts and sciences, as well as a reconnection with the natural world. Parents with lighter workloads could home-school their children if they liked, or look after sick relatives—dramatically reshaping the landscape of education and elder care.

The vexing reality is that the no-growth thinkers simply don’t know how things would shake out. We don’t have any realistic examples to learn from, after all. In the past, the only no-growth societies were agrarian or consisted of hunter-gatherers.

This is just another emanation of Progressivism, way behind the times, as usual.  The no-growth idea dates back to the Club of Rome’s 1972 book  Limits to Growth,  and Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring — books that created quite a stir at the time — but have been thoroughly debunked in the last 50 years.

I guess that if you cannot figure out how to improve the economy or create jobs, and the Democrats clearly cannot,  then a no-growth economy sounds like a possible answer.

This is so unbelievably obvious. You have an enormous group of people,
businessmen, workers, corporate officers, economists, and Republicans in general waving their hands and shouting  “Hey! Over here” “Cut Taxes, Cut Spending, Cut Regulation” and the Progressives sneer and go on beating their heads against the wall whining that “We need another stimulus!”

I think we have pretty much exhausted the possibilities of pumping money into the economy. We have stimulused and stimulused and our Total Public Debt is now up to $15,729,949, and the Statutory Debt Limit — rapidly approaching — is $16,394,000.

“Maybe each $1 of new federal spending doesn’t produce a multiplier  of 1.5 times that in added output. Maybe the historic burst of regulation of the last three years has harmed business confidence and job creation. And maybe the uncertainty that comes from helter-skelter fiscal and monetary policy has dampened the animal spirits needed for a durable expansion. On Friday, the same architects who designed this economy built to stall were calling for one more rescue by the Fed.”

If you are going to look to history for ideas on how to help the economy to recover, you might want to look at ideas that have actually worked in the past.


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