Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Let us hope they listen

Dan Mitchell of Cato Institute warns the United States not to follow the European path. He points out, inter alia, that Keynes himself would have been horrified by the proportion of GDP that is consumed by the state nowadays.

Here are the killer paragraphs (though I wonder why Dr Mitchell left Britain out of his excoriation):
The only good news, at least relatively speaking, is that other nations are in even worse shape. With the exception of Switzerland and a handful of other examples, nations in Europe are burdened by public sectors that consume up to 50 percent of economic output. In places such as Sweden and France, government spending actually consumes more than half of GDP (though Sweden somewhat compensates by having very market-oriented policies in other areas).

Europe’s sclerotic economies should serve as a warning for American policy makers. If government continues to grow, it will be just a matter of time before the United States also is plagued by low growth, higher unemployment, and stagnant living standards. Government spending is not the only policy that matters (see
here for additional information), but making America more like France is a big step in the wrong direction.
Sadly, it looks like the Obama Administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress, which appears to be ever more insane, chaotic and dishonest with every day, seem to be determined to drive the last hope of economic recovery - the American economy down the same path. Here is Claudia Rossett's take. I am not sure I can say "enjoy" about such a grim subject.

It is almost inevitable that with a political class, in Britain, in America and on the Continent, that has become almost completely detached from the rest of the country and its wealth creation, should like economic legislation that gives more money, more power, more employment to them and their clients. What is good for Washington or, for that matter, Whitehall, is almost certainly bad for the rest of the country.

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