Keynesians think we needed a bigger economic stimulus. They say if we had just spent enough, the economy would be growing now. This theory has never been proven -and can’t be proven – because if it fails, supporters can always claim more money was needed But what they fail to realize is that the author of this theory, John Maynard Keyenes – a British economist, said that the money used as stimulus should first come from our own coffers – not be borrowed from creditors.
There may indeed be two ways to fix the economy, after all, there is usually balance in Nature. One way, as the Keynesians believe is for government to spend money stimulating the economy. Once enough money is spent, so the theory goes, the economy will begin to grow. Kind of like putting kindling under wet wood – enough kindling and it will eventually burn.
Their opponents believe that the best way to improve the economy is to let businesses flourish. Remove restrictions, lower taxes and leave them alone. Kind of like stacking the firewood, soaking it with kerosene and throwing in a lit match. Supporters point to companies like Microsoft. The company makes money, hires thousands of people who then spend money in the economy. You’ve heard this called “Voodoo Economics” and “Trickle Down Economics” I call it common sense. Afterall, Capitalism is only a methodology. It is neither good nor evil, it is simply a reflection of those who manage it.
If you’re starting from zero, both ways, at least theortically, will work. The basic requirement is that you spend your own supplies to do it. You are not allowed to borrow firewood, kindling or fuel in either case. Those are the rules. Both methods have an equal chance to be successful in getting the economy (or the fire) going.
Now the downsides. If the Keynesians are wrong, we have huge debts that we can never repay, high unemployment, food shortages, sky high interest rates and rampant poverty. Sound familiar?
If the others are wrong, we are left with unregulated, immoral and otherwise profiteering businesses. Such businesses oppress workers and exploit the environment. You’d think the Unions would support this plan as it would help them grow as they did in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Assuming the worst case means trying to do two things at once: First, trying to make the right choices and Second, blaming the other side if it doesn’t work. This ultimately leads to inaction on both sides. It’s like stacking the kindling, firewood and kerosene next to the fire pit, but not lighting a fire. Gridlock. No results.
Instead of assuming the worst case, and blaming the other side, I have an idea. Let’s all assume for a minute that we all want the best outcome – a fire, and that others who put us in the position to consider the best outcome (those who want a fire) really want us to succeed. Let’s further assume that each of us comes to the table with our own interests, promises made, dirty laundry and past decisions. Let us also assume that we want to do the best possible job to safeguard, defend and promote our fire by teaching who we are as a fire starter, why it matters in the larger scheme of things, and how we measure behaviors we consider consistent with that assumption.
Finally, Let’s assume that if enough positive energy is put into our venture, that whether we reach our targets or not, we will be better for having tried.