“Keeping the Economy from Absolutely Tanking”

Almost all of Washington seems to have agreed that this has to be done, and done by the state, but never fear – Government is here!

Still in the process of transitioning to the White House, the Obama-Biden team is already getting started on its plans for violent intervention in the market.  “Every single person I’ve spoken to agrees with every major economist. There is going to be real significant investment” in the economy, Biden said, estimating that an additional $600 billion or more would be redistributed under the new administration to save America – and presumably the world – from impending destruction.  Whether his apparent survey of popular and economic opinion was a representative sample of his future constituents’ desires is less certain.  As reported by the Associated Press, Biden explained that for Obama’s economic team, “[t]here is no short run other than keeping the economy from absolutely tanking. That’s the only short run.”

With such a limited view of the short run, is there, I have to wonder, any long run at all?  This typically Keynesian approach is unfortunate not only for its shortsighted evaluation of problems, a problem which economists such as Hazlitt have persistently warned against, but also for the long-term damage it recommends as a “solution.”  Although Biden’s counterpart in the present administration has yet to reveiw his successor’s plans, it seems unlikely that Cheney et al. will voice any serious objections to further bailouts, or at least nothing along the lines of those provided by Ron Paul on the House floor, or Lew Rockwell in his Mises Daily Article from several days ago.  He begins, “If you write about and follow politics enough, you eventually realized that most evil in this world is brought about by those seeking a lesser of two evils.”

Maybe eventually we’ll have a majority of elected officials who will consider avoiding evils of all sizes, and going after good?

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