17 February 2012

When No Plan Is Better than One

Source.  Pay attention around the 1:40 mark.

A lot of libertarian and conservative pundits have been upset about Geithner’s remarks.  I can sympathize, but only to a limited extent. Why?  Because I’m getting tired of central planning.

In fact, I would actually prefer Getihner’s lack of plans to Ryan’s plan. Ryan, like all the other politicians in this game, is hindered by the fatal conceit.  Namely, that they can plan, or in any meaningful way manage all or even a significant portion of the economy.*

My proposal, then, is this:  let’s only spend what the constitution permits the federal government to spend, and stop trying to plan so much of the economy.  Ryan’s plan won’t work, in the long run; neither will Geithner’s, when he finally puts his together.  Both plans are based on the pretense of knowledge, and both plans ignore the role of knowledge in the economy.  Top-down, major plans like these will always be doomed to failure, so it is best to give up on them and simply let people plan their futures for themselves.

* By definition, current federal spending accounts for 15% of GDP, which certainly means that managing the government means managing a significant portion of the economy.  Walmart, in comparison, only accounts for .1% of GDP, and they’re one of the largest domestic businesses.


  1. Lots of noise here. No signal, but most people do not know 1) how to find the signal, or 2) that there isn't one to be found. What they want to see is that the elected leaders are doing something to fix the sorry state of things. A nation of dependents cannot abide being abandoned by leaders, and don't know that the power is in their own finger. Once dependent upon central planning, it's a tough wean.

  2. @Cranberry- well, the people will get what they deserve. if hey demand the pretty lies, they will get them until the fundamental truths cannot be denied (and it will not be pretty when that happens). But even if they want the truth, it will still be painful and require decentralization. Central planning can never work indefinitely (just ask the Soviet Union). Inevitably, the system will collapse under its own weight and ignorance.

  3. I only wonder whether it would be better to stay and help pick up the pieces, or just leave.

  4. The Constitution has been a dead letter for a very long time, perhaps since the Louisiana Purchase, but certainly since John Marshall usurped the right to determine the constitutionality of legislation.

    It is also important to realize that we live in a socialist state, and that both major parties are basically socialist. And the American people want it that way.

    The only question is how will our version of socialism evolution. The authoritarian socialism of western Europe appears to heading towards collapse. The collapse will probable result in full-blown Fascist totalitarian socialism a la Weimar.

    What happens here is unpredictable. Considering Obama's popularity (back to 50%), an impoverished Fascist state is likely, just as in Europe. Considering the number of guns in citizen hands in the US and the low-level race wars (at least three way) now underway, disintegration into a collection of smaller, mutually hostile state is possible.

    In either case, there is nowhere to go. You simply have to take your lumps.


  5. @Cranberry- What sykes.1 said.

    @sykes.1- I'm of the belief that not only is the US toast, but the whole world as well, and that everyone is going to see a rather lengthy period of decline for some time.