Hayek had a name for the hubris which clings to big government planners like herpes – “the pretense of knowledge.”
Planners always think they can plan large social experiments, but experience has shown us over and over and over, from the Soviet Union, to France, to Britain, to North Korea, to the United States, they just can not. Obamacare is just the latest example.
20%-40% increases because, surprise surprise the people who signed up for Obamacare are sicker than the planners planned and fewer healthy people signed up than the planners planned.
It’s not like anyone said this would happen. Oh wait, all the people who understood basic supply and demand said this would happen.
If one wants to be an economics superstar there seem to be 4 routes. 1. Win a Nobel Prize. 2. Write a book which is widely read by politicians and the intelligentsia. 3. Just produce excellent work, toil in obscurity, and then have your ideas championed by someone or group with the means to champion someone. 4. Become a presidential advisor.
I am sure that there are other routes too. Becoming a TV personality comes to mind but I can’t think of any economists who have or have had shows of note.
One thing is for sure, presidential candidates, and presidents need economists. Who a candidate partners with is a hugely important decision. To a greater or lesser degree the chosen economic advisor(s) sets the tone for the bread and butter part of any campaign.
Here is what Business Week writer Brendan Greeley tells us about the effect of personal taxes on our economy: “Economists have known for a while that personal marginal tax rates, and in particular those on the rich, don’t seem to have much of an effect on the economy.”
The article below describes Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s recent testimony in the Senate, the gist of which was that raising taxes or cutting federal spending now could send the economy into a tailspin that the Federal Reserve could not prevent. Senator Dick Durban, D-Ill, responded that “There is no one who disagrees with his premise,” meaning that no one thinks getting the US government’s finances back into order soon is a good idea. The worst part of this statement is that Durbin probably means it. He probably thinks that no one does think that ending the huge deficits soon would be a good idea. This is rather like President Obama’s statement when he first announced his stimulus program that economists agreed it was necessary, as if all economists agreed with this. In that case, Obama probably believed what he was saying too.
That is what Bloomberg says in the article below. The headline is: Obama Plan Would Boost GDP, Economists Say.
A more accurate headline would have said: Some Economists Say. Read More