Government must get out of the way

Keynesian economic theory has turned out to be a device for the rich to rob the poor, for the unproductive to raid the incomes of those who work. We are supposedly all to be made better off through massive diversion of the wealth of our nations into the pockets of the crony capitalist friends of our ruling elites and union leaders who fleece their members in the name of protecting them from the employers who gave them their jobs.

Rupert Murdoch has spoken on this to the G20, the first person not from a government to be allowed to make such a presentation. Paul Kelly discusses Murdoch’s speech under the heading, Equality at risk in the West, says Rupert Murdoch. It’s a damned sight more than just equality that is at risk, but our very prosperity. We are being made poor across the broad expanse of our communities because governments are now the chief agents for dispensing purchasing power. Obama was right: you didn’t earn it. The government earned it, and you will only be allowed to keep what it decides you should keep. This is part of what Murdoch said:

“In America, the most highly paid 1 per cent now pay 46 per cent of all income tax.” . . . “In Britain, the top 1 per cent pay 28 per cent of all income tax. That is a massive shift from what our society looked like 30 years ago. We should all be concerned about this polarisation which was never the intent of policy but is certainty a consequence.

“Quantitative easing has increased the price of assets, such as stocks and real estate, and that has helped first and foremost those who already have assets. Meanwhile, the lack of any real wage increase for middle-income workers means growing societal divisions and resentment.”

Quantitative easing is a disaster but you will not find out why by reading any economics book that I know of, other than mine. The last two chapters deal with what had once been stock standard economics before the General Theory. Even Keynes dealt with the money rate of interest (the price of credit) and the natural rate of interest (the price of actual resources, such as bricks and mortar), but that was in his 1930 Treatise on Money, which he wrote before he was sidetracked by Say’s Law. We are ruining our economies in the belief that we are actually doing them good by higher levels of public spending and lower interest rates to encourage investment. But we are ruining them, which is a fact that is obvious to everyone. The only thing invisible is why. But what Murdoch proposed is absolutely right:

The significance of his nine-page speech is his argument about the limits to both monetary and fiscal policy and the imperative for a new approach based upon the need “for government to get out of the way”. Mr Murdoch called for: labour market reform; lower and more competitive corporate taxes; a crackdown on multinationals — naming Google — for not paying taxes where they make their profits; a rethink on excessive bank regulation, warning “you would have to be mad to join the board of a bank these days”; and recognition that high taxes and over-regulation were damaging economic growth and the public interest.

But if you start from Y=C+I+G you cannot make any sense of what he suggests. Read Chapters 16 and 17 of my Free Market Economics second edition if you would like to understand the classical explanation for what is happening right before your eyes and why these kinds of reforms are needed. I do find it odd that this is the only book I know of, at least one that has been written since the 1930s, that can explain what was once obvious to every economist in the world. But odd or not, that is how it seems to be.

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