Archive | December 10, 2008

Don’t Know Much About Economics…

Guest Blog by Jennifer McKitrick

[cross-posted at Jen Mc’s Blog]

Don’t Know Much About Economics…

But as far as I can figure…

The plan of the Trouble Asset Relief Program is that the US government borrows money from China so that they can lend it to banks so banks can lend it to consumers/taxpayers.

(China should just open up banks in the US and lend directly to consumers. Cut out the middle men! Especially ones that spend the money on spa retreats for their clients.)

So basically, the government is putting taxpayers in debt so that money can be lent to same taxpayers, with interest.

Rube Goldberg cartoon

If enough taxpayers pay back the bank, the bank can pay the government, and the government can pay back China, and if there’s any left over, it will “benefit the taxpayer,” whatever that means.

(Another short cut: If you really want to benefit the taxpayer, reduce the amount that they have to pay on their loans now, rather than giving them a promise of a cut of the profits made off their own interest payments.)

Now, if not enough taxpayers pay their loans, the bank can’t pay back the government, but the government still has to pay back China, so where will they get the money? From taxpayers! Which taxpayers? The ones who were unable or unwilling to pay their loans? Unlikely. For the others (and subsequent generations), after they’re done paying back any money that they may have borrowed, they still have to pay back the money that someone else borrowed. That sounds less like being financially responsible and more like being a sucker.

Another thing…
If the Big 3 are good for the money, why can’t they get regular loans?

Credit is tight, I know. But the government already gave billions to financial institutions so they could make loans. I guess the banks figure they shouldn’t risk the taxpayer’s money that way. That would be irresponsible!

But what do I know?

Jennifer McKitrick is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and Vice-President of the Molinari Institute and Molinari Society.

No Ideas, No Ideas, No Ideas, No Ideas, No Ideas, No Ideas, No Ideas, No Ideas, No Ideas, No Ideas

Okay, so I know that Britney Spears’ popularity has never had anything to do with the poetic content of her lyrics. Even so, the chorus to her latest hit (possibly NSFW, depending on where you work) seems to flaunt lack of imagination as a virtue.  (I love how they flash the title at the end of the video, just in case you were in any doubt as to what the name of the song was.)

Only One Setting

Monopoly Man wants a handout This animation (conical hat tip to LRC) is funny – but the perspective it represents is part of the problem. The assumption behind the clip is that big business is in favour of “capitalism” (which in this context is clearly supposed to mean the free market) when times are good, but in favour of government handouts when times are bad.

No – big business is against the free market and in favour of government-granted privilege all the time. If by “capitalism” you mean the free market, it’s always “clap off”; if by “capitalism” you mean the prevailing corporatism, it’s always “clap on.”

Cato Institute Publishes Leftist Screed!, Pars Octava

If I’d known how many more parts there’d be I wouldn’t have started the damn Latin titles. In any case, my last post should’ve been Pars Septima, not Pars Septa. Argh! Oh well.

Wait, this post has an actual topic: Shawn Wilbur weighs in on whether big chain bookstores benefit from state intervention. (Spoiler alert: yes.)

More from me on the conflation debate anon.

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