Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: December 7, 2010

27% say government should manage economy

I’d like to say I’m “shocked – shocked I tell you”, but in all honesty I’m not.  Rasmussen reports that:

More than one-out-of-four Americans (27%) think the government should manage the U.S. economy, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Nearly as many (24%) say it’s better for the government to stay out of economic decisions altogether.

First, just off the top, I can’t imagine how 27% can think the government would do a good job managing the economy except via abject ignorance about how the economy actually works.  Secondly, if they’re at all literate they must know that some of the worst economic failures as states have been those in which the government managed the economy.  And if they follow world events even in passing, they can find current examples of that failure in Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and North Korea to name a few.

So you’d have to figure they at least have some cognizance of what “government management of the economy” means to hold such a belief, right?  If so, then other than faith, what do they base their opinion upon?  Certainly not facts – or even success stories.

They remind me of people who begin smoking fully aware of all the awful things that tobacco use will eventually do to them and somehow naively believe they’ll be the exception to the rule.  One has to assume they have discovered a way that government management of the economy can work and are simply waiting for the right time to spring it on us all.

Or perhaps they’re just young, inexperienced and enamored with the theory.  I guess everyone goes through a period of kumbyah economics  where one believes that if everyone would just work hard and share and let a benevolent government manage it all, we’d live in an earthly paradise.  But I never thought as many as 27% wouldn’t outgrow that.

Even more disturbing is the fact that more think the government should manage the economy than think it should stay completely out of it.  I’ll bet that wasn’t at all the case in the 18th or 19th centuries.   In those days our ancestors were of the opinion the less government the better.  What a novel thought, huh?  And with that freedom they built a nation that is the envy of the world – at least for the time being.  Until that 27% have their way.

Seriously though – that number is a bit stunning.  27%.  More than a quarter of those polled actually expressed the opinion that we’d be better off if government managed the economy.  Does that bother anyone else?  And if so, how do you explain it?

27% of our countrymen think somehow government could do a better job managing the economy than markets. Markets which now manage, quite successfully mind you, billions of individual transactions a day in which the two (or more) voluntary participants part perfectly satisfied at the conclusion.  How would government do that better?  How would it better allocate goods, money, raw materials, etc., than does the market? What signals would it use to satisfy changing demand and ensure the right goods are produced at the right time and sent to the right place for the right price and at a profit which keeps the whole system moving in a positive direction?

I’m asking because I’d love one of the 27% to drop in an enlighten us poor rubes who just can’t seem to wrap our heads around the idea they’re backing in a positive way.  Then I’d ask them if they’d prefer Zimbabwe or North Korea to this poor benighted country and its ostensibly “free” markets.  Because obviously they can’t be happy here.

27%!?

Wow … a real head shaker.

~McQ

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Just funny–Bush approval rating now higher than Obama’s

I know it’s only a poll and I also understand in the big scheme of things it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, but for the humor factor alone, it’s worth a post.

George W. Bush’s job approval rating as president has spiked to 47 percent, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

That’s 1 point higher than President Barack Obama’s job approval rating in a poll taken the same week.

Of course, what’s obviously funny is that after the relentless attacks on Bush before and after the election by Obama he now leads the man by a point in job approval rating, at least temporarily.  A little schadenfreude at least, no?

Of course the claim is that Bush’s problems have faded in memory and Obama’s are painfully evident and aggravated by the current situation surrounding him.  Yeah, so.  At one point it was Bush in that situation, but I don’t recall him trying to constantly shift blame on others.  He didn’t talk about the horrible security situation he’d “inherited” from Clinton after 9/11.  In fact, he rarely if ever mentioned Clinton, and if he did it was usually respectfully.  Of course he was never accorded the same respect by Obama and the left.

So I can’t help but find this funny in a juvenile ‘thumb your nose at them’ kind of way as well.   He and the left deserve it.

The lesson, however, is more profound.  And while it may again change in Obama’s favor it is indeed one of those “teachable moments” he seems so fond of.  Humility is a virtue, as is grace.  They serve you well whenever you employ them.  And they keep you from having to suffer those situations where you words come back to bite you on the rear end.   Because by deploying them regularly, you never find yourself in those sorts of situations.

Unfortunately I doubt our current president will bother to consider any of that or learn anything from this quick snapshot of his standing.  It’s just not in him to do so.  But he could learn a lot about being a leader if he did – something for which he could use some lessons.

Bush’s rebound gives some credence to what he has long said — that history will eventually judge his presidency.

Indeed.  But it also never hurts when your successor is a bumbling fool either.

~McQ

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