Monday, March 09, 2009

Conservatives--Let's Start Here

Cadged from Vox, who read the VDH column.

Conservatives created Barack Obama and his vision of the Europeanization of America, and so have themselves to blame for the current recessional, as the present as we have known it fades into the past.....

The pillar of conservatism is fiscal responsibility. Why? Balancing budgets and saying no to always expanding government, first, is a moral issue. Just as the individual does not borrow from others to satisfy his own appetite, does not consume what he does not earn, so too government should not spend what the nation has not produced.

The conservative, as the custodian of ancient morality, must remind the populace of the thriftiness of our ancestors that explains the bounty we inherited. If not he, who will say that life is not fair, that human nature is predictable and thus tragic, that in our brief corporal lives we can guarantee an equality of rough opportunity but hardly mandate an equality of absolute result—since we are mere mortals, not gods?

One could quibble about 'fiscal responsibility' being "the" pillar. But it certainly is one of them.

VDH is not the only one to notice. This from John Zmirak:

I’ve already written here about the decline of thrift—the economic face of the governing virtue of Prudence. The State helped drive this degeneration by embracing Keynesian economics, which can be boiled down to this theory: That instead of looking for investment capital to the accumulated savings of the populace (deferred consumption), clever government policies (i.e., magic) can make it possible to fuel investment without any savings. Instead of deferring consumption, we can simply defer the payment. The money you and I put on our credit cards to shop at Best Buy will help the store expand. Multiply this event a few million times, and the whole economy grows—allowing us to make enough money to pay off our credit cards… eventually. Any glitches that foul up the Rube Goldberg mechanism can be fixed by government loans, bailouts, or debt guarantees. Assuming an infinitely growing economy—never slowed down by the absence of capital, since the government can always print more money—the pyramid never has to crumble.

Except that it did

More and more it's Paul Ryan.....


J. Strupp said...

I would argue that, in fact, fiscal responsibility is not a pillar of the Republican Party.

Lastly, your generalized description of Keynsian economics would be true if, in fact, our massive pre-WWII government spending activity led to a second Great Depression once the war ended and our post-war government debt-load collapsed.

J. Strupp said...

Excuse me for the misspelling of Keynesian.

Dad29 said...

The fact that the Pubbies don't give a rip about deficit spending is precisely the problem.

As to post-WWII; I think you forget that we were the only remaining industrial-producer in the world. German, Italian, Czech, Polish, French, English, and Japanese factory capacity was damn near zero.

So it was not Keynes which made the US successful--it was monopoly-power.