09 November 2010

Rich Man

EconLog | Arnold Kling | If Government Were a Rich Man

Wintercow20 writes,
The US government (all levels) has 20% more resources itself than the largest economy in the world does yet it cannot take care of health care for the poor and chronically infirm? Where on the list of priorities must this really be? Is it ahead of mohair subsidies, sugar subsidies, windmill subsidies, funding for education schools, and so on? What kind of bizarre world am I living in? And I am being asked to sacrifice a little more just to see that we'll get it right this time?
Read the whole thing. The usual bleeding-heart cry is that it is absurd for a society to have people as rich as Bill Gates and still have poverty. But government is much, much, much richer than Bill Gates, and no bleeding heart complains about government's indifference or misplaced priorities.
Hear, hear.

Of course, in the never-never-land of DC there are no trade-offs, so there need be no priorities.  So we get subsidies for corn syrup, and taxes on HFCS soft drinks at the same time.  Instead of shifting resources from some programs to others with higher priorities, we just get logrolled into more of everything.  And why not?  If you think lunch is free you might as well order one of everything.

I'll start taking politicians seriously when they start proposing that we'll have to give up some of [FOO] in order to get that shiny new [BAR] they're talking about.

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