Yayayayayayayaya, I’m not l-i-s-t-e-n-i-n-g . . .

Was over at brucetheeconomist commenting on a post. As I was writing my comment, this thought developed – I share it.

All these discussions about putting money out vs taking money in – does stimulus raise revenue? do tax cuts create jobs? I’ve not got your skills in this area, but it always sounds to me like people are so committed to their pet theoretical outcomes, that they ignore or miss  obvious elements that have great impact, because those don’t fit their script. 
Example: Sunday, I watched McLaughlin Group (political scream show). Somehow they were discussing ending the monarchy in Britain because the royals live off the state and cost too much. It was a genuinely silly discussion, but I was astonished that they entirely ignored two things that should be part of any such conversation.:

1. the contribution to tourism

2. the national identity at a time when all western democracies are struggling to integrate immigrants into the dominant culture. It’s said that in Britain the loudest and proudest fans of the monarchy are the immigrants. It’s what being British is all about.

Anyway, stupid discussion and for some reason reminded me of economic chatter about how to improve the economy.

9 responses to “Yayayayayayayaya, I’m not l-i-s-t-e-n-i-n-g . . .

  1. 80% of federal spending is defense, health care and social security.
    LBJ, roll over.

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  2. It is considered far better to shriek about nickels and dimes than to mention the elephant in the room that is defense spending. How much do Reagan’s imagined “welfare queens” cost versus a single aircraft carrier group? Or a month in Afghanistan?

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    • And we don’t even know how much of military spending is folded into other departments of the gov’t – and thereby hidden. I’m sure the actual number is much higher than anything that’s been published.

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  3. Words matter. If you want to cut “entitlements” start calling them what they actually are…“earned benefits.” The latter may reek of cliche, but the former is a manufactured pejorative.

    Regards,
    Doug

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    • Man oh man, I like that! Earned benefits.

      Republicans are so much better at labeling things (Death panels, death tax etc) and Democrats are just awful at it. Why can’t they come up with ‘Earned benefits’? It’s brilliant.

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  4. True,
    in most part,
    but the minefield here is that taxes/expenditure pr. citizen is not always a zero-sum game on the individual level. Hence the rightwing talking points. The rationale for a social safety net is a collective effort to prevent bigger ills – as well as helping people on their feet.

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