Thursday, February 25, 2010

The President & Prosperity

Yesterday PRESIDENT OBAMA SPOKE before the Business Roundtable and said this:
Whatever differences we have in this country, all of us have a stake in meeting the same goal, which is an America in which a growing prosperity is shared widely by its people.
Of course, the President goes on to talk about how this growing shared prosperity can be achieved through his favorite government policies. I agree with the goal of a growing shared prosperity. I wonder how this goal should be pursued?

I think we can discover the answer to this question by reading LUDWIG VON MISES:
“. . .there is only one way a nation can achieve prosperity: if you increase capital, you increase the marginal productivity of labor, and the effect will be that real wages will rise. (p. 88)”
If you read all of the President's speech, and/or if you follow the President's policy proposals, I think you will be forced to the conclusion that the President seems to know very little about how the country's prosperity was achieved, and very little about how the country's prosperity can be sustained.

Oh, and if you have some time, you will learn many more valuable lessons by reading the entire set of lecture by Mises, than you will from following all the speeches and policies of the President. I would go so far as to suggest that if you study these seven lecture by Mises the result will be that you will be one of the most economically literate voters in the country.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Green Police

This GREEN POLICE video is one of the best commercials I've ever seen. I'm afraid that although this is very funny today, it is likely to be not so funny by the time my son graduates college. I'm not sure, but hasn't there already been a bill introduced to Congress to ban the incandescent bulb? Maybe this ban is already law, and that could be me they're loading into the squad car, eh?

Health Insurance Tax Credit

But there is another way to make exchanges viable, one that should be prominently on the table at Blair House: offer a tax break. Some Republicans like Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin propose a refundable tax credit for buying insurance. This can be linked to exchanges.

Since employer-provided health insurance has a huge tax advantage, the only way a market is going to develop outside employer-mediated insurance is to level the tax field with a proper tax incentive. It also happens to be fair, since a growing number of people work for themselves and hence are discriminated against in being forced to pay higher taxes compared to those who benefit from the employer health insurance tax break.

With a significant – say $3,000 a person – and permanent tax cut, exchanges have a chance of attracting enough customers. Justice and economic logic both demand this tax break.
I think this is a good idea. I think the whole idea would be even better if the tax exchange idea was dropped, plus the Congress said both that there would no longer be mandates for what must be in a policy at either the national or state levels and that there could no longer be restrictions on buying insurance from companies across state lines.

Please don't any body point out that this tax credit idea sounds a lot like a "voucher" for health insurance. If Democrats notice this they just might be afraid that if vouchers worked for health insurance they would probably work for education as well.