Hobgoblins and swimming pools

The economy lesson is by Professor Walter E. Williams in the Washington Times. Unstimulating piffle takes on the problem of the latest hobgoblin.

Baltimore’s political satirist, the late H.L. Mencken, explained this strategy, saying, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

The economy, as with the flag waving about the sub prime mortgage mess, is the latest hobgoblin. How many others can you name without having to take a breath?

On the efforts to stimulate an economy whose slowing a bit is being presented as the worst disaster since 1929 – or maybe ever – we have this observation:

As my George Mason University colleague Russell Roberts said in a NPR broadcast: “It’s like taking a bucket of water from the deep end of a pool and dumping it into the shallow end. Funny thing — the water in the shallow end doesn’t get any deeper.”

Do you remember several years ago when political hot air got all over banks because they would not help certain minorities buy houses? Guess what? Now that same hot air is complaining because that minority is hardest hit in foreclosures and debt problems. Perhaps what they should take comfort in is that these mortgage difficulties not only hit the favored minorities but they also hit those evil greedy capitalists who put up the money for the loans.

The call for stimulus packages represents the triumph of political arrogance over common sense.

The thing is, a quick fix feels good. Trying to make a change in those things that got you to where you are is much harder, less visible, and doesn’t have as much of an immediate feel-good benefit.

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