Saturday, March 20, 2010

Herbert's Folly

I usually don't read Bob Herbert's columns in the New York Times, as they tend to be angry and ignorant, not to mention economically illiterate. However, once in a while, even Herbert sets new standards for outrage, and he has done so with this column.

Yes, Bob has discovered the obvious: we are in a serious depression. Gee, glad you have noticed, Bob. Of course, like all good NYT columnists, he neatly confuses cause with effect. Thus, we get ignorant missives like this:
Budget cuts...tend to weaken rather than strengthen a state’s economy, especially when they entail furloughs or layoffs. Government spending stimulates an economy in recession. And wise spending is an investment in everyone’s quality of life.
Uh, Bob, budget cuts do not weaken the economy; they come about because the economy is weak. How do states receive their revenues? They tax others, and if economic activity does not generate wealth, there are no revenues to collect via taxation.

And what constitutes "wise spending"? Herbert really does not define it except to imply that "wise" is whatever he deems it to be.

As one who has followed Herbert over the years, I find few other writers, except for those at the Nation, who pretty much are Marxists, who despise private enterprise as much as does Herbert. It is rare that he is not attacking business owners or those who are productive and blaming them for all of the miseries of life.

Well, guess what? When government goes on a jihad against business, as we now see with the Obama administration, less wealth is created. When private enterprise creates less wealth, governments can spend less. That is a fact of life that all of the raving and raging by Herbert and the others at the NYT cannot eliminate with all of their rhetoric.

No comments: