Around Colorado 2/2/09

Wish List for Funds

“A community hearing Sunday on the proposed federal economic stimulus package drew a shopping list of requests ranging from smart energy grids and wildfire fighting help to Medicaid funds and a single payer health system.”

The headline for this Rocky Mountain News story is, “Boulder hearing offers Polis wish list for stimulus money.” Isn’t it great that people have so many wishes for how to spend other people’s money. Here’s my wish list:

1. I wish we lived in a nation in which more people acted like citizens rather than leeches.

2. I wish politicians thought of their job as protecting individual rights rather than robbing some to pay off others.

3. I wish journalists would stop calling the scheme to massively redistribute more wealth a “stimulus package.”

“If wishes were horses,
Beggars would ride;
If wishes were fishes,
We’d all have some fried.”

Saving Ba-a-a-a-d

Here’s one from the Associated Press: “Americans are hunkering down and saving more. For a recession-battered economy, it couldn’t be happening at a worse time. Economists call it the ‘paradox of thrift.’ What’s good for individuals — spending less, saving more — is bad for the economy when everyone does it.”

What a load of nonsense. The only paradox here is why newspapers wonder why they’re failing when they keep publishing such pathetic articles.

As George Reisman explains, a recession naturally gives rise to price breaks (unless politicians hamper the process), which eventually gets people back to regular rates of savings and spending.

Of course, some people might figure out that they actually need a long-term savings plan, in which case the rate of savings may permanently move up. This is not a problem, but rather a healthy development to which the economy, left unhampered, will adjust. A major problem we have in our economy is that the Federal Reserve has largely destroyed the natural link between savings and investment.

The AP is looking at short-term economic statistics while utterly ignoring the relevant economic processes.

Free Speech

The Rocky Mountain News correctly editorializes: “Only one section of Amendment 54 should survive: the provision setting up a searchable online database of sole-source government contractors. That’s an unobjectionable, good-government measure. The rest of the amendment, however, raises serious constitutional issues. To begin with, campaign contributions are the equivalent of political speech…” It’s pretty sad that “conservatives” have gotten into the game of limiting free speech through campaign laws.

The Seen and the Unseen

State Senator Dan Gibbs obviously has never read his Hazlitt. Gibbs writes, “By infusing millions of dollars into critical bridge and road projects in every corner of Colorado, FASTER [Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation & Economic Recovery] will create tens of thousands of jobs.” No, it won’t. It will redirect resources away from other jobs to politically-favored ones.

The Greed Card

Letter writer Richard M. Wright of Lakewood argues: “The contention by Barry W. Poulson that the state can save as much as $600 million a year by program suspension, consolidation and reform and thereby balance the budget without raising taxes or gutting TABOR is simply another trussed up diatribe by a greedy, self-centered individual with no apparent sense of social responsibility.”

Yes, it’s “greedy” to think that people should be able to keep more of their own money to spend, invest, or give away as they see fit. Bad, bad, Barry.