Home > Uncategorized > The Patient is on Life Support

The Patient is on Life Support

In response to the new unemployment numbers, Paul Krugman declared today that “The Patient Is in Stable Condition.”  I think this metaphor couldn’t be more apt.  This is what a doctor says when the patient almost died and they arrested the process of expiration at some point in between death and “healthy.”  Usually this means he is attached to various machines which are keeping this process from going forward while the physician tries to figure out what is wrong with him and fix it.  Currently our economy is “stable” at around 10% unemployment, not quite dead but not exactly healthy.  So let’s look at what the good doctor is doing to nurse us back to health.

Here is what Obama was up to today.  Recently, they have been taking much effort to combat criticisms that the only jobs they are creating are government jobs.  According to the White House, small business is the “engine for job growth.”  If this is true, then currently government is the fuel tank.  We are picking certain factories we like and paying them to produce certain products that we want them to with money we borrowed at the expense of unknown future generations.  Is creating jobs in this way really a great accomplishment?  More importantly, is a “private sector job” that is created at the behest of government with government funds really any different from a government job? 

If you have a health insurance industry where the companies are privately owned and the government tells them what policies they have to offer, who they have to offer them to, and what price they can charge, then it is government run healthcare.  Similarly, if a factory is privately owned but the government gives it money and tells it what to produce and how to produce it, it is a government run factory.  The patient is stable but he’s on life support.  He is breathing with an iron lung and there’s a VAD (that’s ventricular assist device for you laymen out there) pumping his blood.  These things aren’t curing the disease they’re just keeping him alive. 

We can’t build a robust economy that is based on government handouts.  The lifeblood of capitalism is freedom.  It is freedom that allows for profit and drives competition.  Our government is sucking the freedom out of our economy and trying to replace it by pouring money in.  And they don’t even have the money!  So how long do think that model will last?  We are building a bionic economy and it is going to cost a lot more than six million dollars (and probably won’t run as fast either).

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