Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Speed vs. Change We Can Really Believe in

David Brooks is surely right that Obama’s stimulus package is not oriented around thoughtful planning to support the new (for example, exurban) modes of community being chosen by Americans. And he’s also right that’s what wrong with our schools won’t be solved by even more new computers. But I feel Barack’s pain here: His goal is quick stimulation, which is incompatible with careful planning. The problem is that the result will be that there won’t be money, soon enough, for what we really need.

Discussions - 5 Comments

As for the transition and the stimulus package, I think BO is playing for popularity and already starting the 2012 reelection bid. Also, the congressional democrats are almost at war with each other who should get what from whom and how much. Too many DNC core constituencies are queuing up at the stimulus trough.

A little birdy told me that things might be very interesting in the next few weeks, as the Illinois Governor faces Jail and Prison, will he make a deal with the Feds and has Rizzko as well and could we have a December 'surprise' of an indictment of the President Elect?

The stimulus is Keynesian, and also is why Obama will not raise taxes in the short run. The question is if stimulus will ever be argued against. Once things are better which means worries about inflation return, perhaps then tax cuts will be rolled back(i.e. taxes raised), it is doubtfull that other government spending will be cut seriously.

Stimulation might be incompatible with carefull planning...but then it might simply be that they are incompatible because they are different lenses/zoom/magnifications. A simple Keynesian model simply calls for stimulation, either tax cuts or increased government spending or both.

Stimulation is incompatible with carefull planning in the same way that a painting is different from a picture. A painting of a forest does not capture every tree in detail. With a good enough zoom one would find that a painted forest does not contain trees. Carefull planning in a forest landscape includes the smallest termite, but such attention to detail prevents one from seeing the forest from the trees?

This is harder to understand when we have Garmin and Google earth, and all sorts of the very best and most detailed maps available, and yet perhaps planning carefull of otherwise requires at the end of the day submission to a map. In this sense then the Macro-economist Keynesian or otherwise cannot be rightfully accused of being in contempt of carefull planning. Rather one must say that carefull planning is always the slave of magnification and map making.

The Keynesians cry for stimulus, and those who would divide this stimulus so as to achieve a greater level of "carefull planning" are the lobbying pigs. Razorbacks like Ol' Billy Clinton being some of the finnest creatures in the forest...but these forest creatures as Mr. bates points out argue and fight among themselves at the stimulus trough, Moss, termite, or truffle all are added to the picture as constituents. And so "carefull planning" itself does not really exist appart from these map makers and from this struggle for division it comes to exist.

Resigned conservative keynesian argue that the forest would be better served without carefull planning, that tax cuts are the best stimulus, let the lowliest termite decide for himself how he should fit into the picture. An example of this was the arguement made by Sowell among others that the bailout should be passed with the fewest strings attached, before the carefull planners of the senate could attach even more pork, strings and preconditions to it. Deliberation and carefull planning are simply fictious covers for coallition forming conspiracies.

It is no puzzle that the illinois governor would have unveilled his choice for Obama's Senate seat under the cover of deliberation and carefull planning. He would have chosen the person who was "best". And yet here we know that "best" in this case means what was best for his wallet and aspirations.

In some way then Obama represents what Dr. Lawler and so many other americans want to believe in, the possibility for carefull planning and good governance minus the admixture of selfish grease.

That was weak, I always fall in love with my analogies and get side tracked. But what Brooks suggests might achieve fruition via the lobbying channels. I mean only to say that innovative ways to spend public money are hardly in short supply. Not all democrats are as greedy as the Illinois governor, I am sure many are idealistic. There are probably a lot of ideas out there that would make sense from a social welfare economic old proffesor of Urban Economics could provide for Brooks or others a list of things a mile long...most of these are termed pork...I am inclined to compromise and figure that not all pork is a bad investment in the Macro view. The greatest fight occurs because not everyone bennefits equally and not everyone pays equally. Some who pay do not bennefit and some who bennefit do not pay. The social economists who calculate public good...well even here they make maps and assumptions, but the nuts and bolts of the thing involve invariably the pigs/politicians in the trough.

I eagerly await the enlightening and intelligent comments from Ren about this one. - Ren where are you?

Too late dr. Lawler the moneys already gone. The cleAr path at least for me is a return to libertarian style governance I believe advocated by john lewis. But prudentially we are not going to do that.

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