Here is a thought (truism) that will stick in the craw of many/most liberals (or progressives, or whatever they want/like to be called now): Work creates wealth! By transforming less desirable things into more desirable things, work creates wealth. The key word here is creates. All the well meaning( ?) government programs (stimulus, e.g.) in the world do not create anything. At best they only rearrange things. But, liberals will argue, the stimulus wants to provide jobs by focusing on infrastructure. To that I argue there is a big difference between jobs and wealth. Further, “Federal infrastructure spending has a long and painful history of pork barrel politics and bureaucratic bungling by both parties, with money often going to wasteful and environmentally damaging projects.”
Some will argue that wealth is unequally distributed. To that argument I have two responses: First, it is not government’s purpose or function to redistribute wealth, to make us all equal. In fact, the preamble to the US Constitution states: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Note that the key word is promote, not provide. Not a single word about redistribution of wealth in the entire US Constitution. Second, some people are willing to work harder than others, and those people tend to acquire more wealth.
For those of you who want to provide the general welfare, let me say that there is nothing stopping you. If you want to provide for others, go right ahead. If I want to do it as well, that’s fine. Just let it be my decision!
The purpose or function of government is to facilitate the creation of wealth by encouraging people to work with maximal productivity, which is inexorably related to how long and energetically people work. But productivity is also, to an increasing extent, related to how efficiently people work, thanks to the efforts of others who have preceded us. Which brings us to two other factors: borrowing and infrastructure.
There is nothing inherently wrong with borrowing. Borrowing to improve productivity can be a good thing, but borrowing to pay for present consumption, such as with Obamacare, is usually not. A person or a country should borrow with care, because debt incurred by borrowing will have to be repaid, in one way or another, sooner or later, by the borrower; or, in the case of a country, by the borrowers’ children and/or grandchildren. Borrowing can result in a decrease in future wealth. But politicians of both parties continue to borrow, in order to buy votes, thus mortgaging our children’s future, because they know they will long be out of office when the debt can no longer be kicked down the road.
Creating jobs through the creation/renewal/expansion of infrastructure is, in and of itself, good. But, all too often, new infrastructure is totally unnecessary, and, in some instances, can actually be harmful to people and the (precious) environment. This spending more often than not does not increase productivity, and it extracts resources from other parts if the economy, from other people. As an example, the green energ” infrastructure spending requires massive tax subsidies, tax money that could be spent elsewhere. There is no doubt that green energy projects work, but they require subsidies and are not economically feasible. And they do not increase/improve productivity. Another example: infrastructure projects were not as shovel ready as Obama thought. His response: make a joke of it. Another example: Obama just killed the largest shovel ready project this country has seen in recent times (the Keystone XL Pipeline project), then blamed Republicans because his time for vetting the project was too short. I guess three years for vetting was not long enough. Plus his EPA (we all know how objective his lapdog, er, the EPA is) has studied 14 different routes! So much for not having time to vet it.
After three years we expect Obama and his administration to learn this. But, to quote the late John Belushi, “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” So we are left with only two alternatives. Either (1) President Barack Hussein Obama and the people he chose to surround him are really, really dumb, or (2) Obama is smart and is creating policies to wreck this country/culture/economy on purpose. The results are/will be the same either way. November can’t get here soon enough!
But that’s just my opinion.