Basic economic laws should not be thwarted

In the United States of America, the state continues to deploy failed policies that violate basic economic principles to the detriment of the entire society it seeks to control.   This failure can be seen in America’s Welfare State and progressive income tax program. The former subsidizes individual actions and life styles that can contribute to poverty and the later discourages income and wealth generation. Simply put, basic praxeology shows us when you subsidize something you will get more of it. Tax and regulate something you get less of it.

Since the amalgamation of the Revenue Act of 1916 and FDR’s New Deal, (in which the state used taxation, targeted subsidization, and regulation in an attempt to alleviate and or mitigate its definition of poverty among its citizens), the state began to extremely violate the aforementioned basic principles of human behavior.

In FDR’s “First New Deal” (1933–34), many programs were instituted using state subsidies to pay people who did not work and create new regulations for the banking and industrial sector which increased their moral hazard in an attempt to combat the impact and causes of the Great Depression.

FDR’s “Second New Deal” (1935–38) went further and fully institutionalized state involvement in the nation’s personal behavior in an attempt to address the effects of the ongoing economic crisis.  Programs such as Social Security and the Fair Labor Standards Act would change America forever.

The state, in its infinite wisdom, seeing less than satisfactory results from FDR’s New Deal, thirty years later further increased its involvement in Americans’ personal lives with new programs, subsidies, and taxes during LBJ’s Great Society.

Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it. No single piece of legislation, however, is going to suffice.”
– President Lyndon Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Recently, according to the 2014 House Budget Committee Report, The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later the state’s return on investment has been less than satisfactory.  Below are some conclusions from the report showing failure of the state to eliminate poverty by not understanding basic human behavior:

The War on Poverty at a Glance
Despite trillions of dollars in spending, poverty is widespread:
• In 1965, the poverty rate was 17.3 percent. In 2012, it was 15 percent.
• Over the past three years, “deep poverty” has reached its highest level on record.
• About 21.8 percent of children live below the poverty line.1
In can be no surprise the state has failed to eliminate poverty if one understands the basics tenets of human behavior and the fundamental principles of economics.   The state’s policy violates them. Government programs targeted at poverty reduction/elimination encourage more poverty by encouraging a person to continue their current situation of being in poverty — receive payments and subsidies for having lower income, receive payments and subsidies for not working, receive payments and subsidies for having more dependents, receive payments and subsides for not completing high school, receive payments and subsides for not living a healthy lifestyle, etcetera.
The state also discourages work and thus wealth generation with its onerous job killing regulations which make it more costly for employers and entrepreneurs to create jobs and thus new wealth.
Additionally, the progressive tax system reduces the incentive to generate new wealth as its marginal income tax rates and capital gains taxes punish those who generate more earned income and investment generated wealth.
The state could easily rectify the current situation by eliminating all subsidies to individuals and corporations and stop taxing income and wealth.
1. “War on Poverty.” Http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/war_on_poverty.pdf. United States House of Representatives , 3 Mar. 2014. Web. 8 Apr. 2017.

I was wrong, some places in America are totalitarian already

Leftist-statist fascism is in the news daily and there is no more non-tolerant place than American college campuses. These left leaning institutions have always supported state control of the economy and redistribution policy however, since the 2016 election, the statists have moved to a proscription against speech and freedom of association.

This contagion has spread beyond the traditional east and west coast statist bastions to small lower tier educational institutions in the Midwest.

A story on ZeroHedge,  Conservative Students “Violently Threatened” At Lutheran College

spoke of a situation that could have been reported in 1930s Nazi Germany.  This story is upsetting to any freedom loving American but it gets worse. There is a strong move among these same statists to create an economic crisis by not paying their obligations and then, get taxpayers to foot the bill for their obligated student loan debt.

Students Demand “Sanctuary” From Immigration Laws, Student Loan Debt, And Finals

The First Crack: $270 Billion In Student Loans Are At Least 30 Days Delinquent

Next Mega-Bailout On Deck: White House Studying “New Bankruptcy Options” For Student-Loan Borrowers

At 108 US Colleges, More Than Half Of Students Haven’t Paid Even $1 On Their Student Loans

The Student Loan Write-offs Have Begun: 78,000 Students File For Debt Discharge After Corinthian Closures

24% Of Millennials “Expect” Student Loan Forgiveness

“Cancel All Student Debt” – The Petitions Begin

To correct this we must remove the state from any and all influence in higher education and enforce the rights expressed in the US Constitution. Failure to do so will result in a loss of freedom and a very large tax bill to bailout students by paying off their debt.

Conversation with a statist

A few days ago, I was involved in a conversation with a leftist supporter of the Federal government’s venerable Social Security program. My position was the program is a Ponzi scheme and for all intents and purposes, it is insolvent.

The person I was speaking to, an ill-informed statist, was aghast that someone would question our Federal Government!

To be more specific about my concern, I went to paraphrase the Social Security Trustee report stating that even its caretakers know the program is failing as evidenced below.

“Social Security’s total income is projected to exceed its total cost through 2019, as it has since 1982. The 2015 surplus of total income relative to cost was $23 billion. However, when interest income is excluded, Social Security’s cost is projected to exceed its non-interest income throughout the projection period, as it has since 2010. The Trustees project that this annual non-interest deficit will average about $69 billion between 2016 and 2019. It will then rise steeply as income growth slows to its sustainable trend rate as the economic recovery is complete while the number of beneficiaries continues to grow at a substantially faster rate than the number of covered workers.

After 2019, interest income and redemption of trust fund asset reserves from the General Fund of the Treasury will provide the resources needed to offset Social Security’s annual deficits until 2034, when the reserves will be depleted. Thereafter, scheduled tax income is projected to be sufficient to pay about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through the end of the projection period in 2090. The ratio of reserves to one year’s projected cost (the combined trust fund ratio) peaked in 2008, declined through 2015, and is expected to decline steadily until the trust funds are depleted in 2034″.1

To close my conversation, I put the statist on the spot by promoting privatization and further pondering just how much worse could we, as individual citizens, do in planning for our own retirement than is currently being done by the Federal Government?

As no surprise, the statist could not respond.

  1. A SUMMARY OF THE 2016 ANNUAL REPORTS. Rep. Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, 22 June 2016. Web. 11 Feb. 2017.