Sunday, September 19, 2010


People assume government spending is the source of our economic troubles. I say it is not the source of our troubles.

My first bit of evidence is that after 30 years of red shift in the political spectrum, we have not yet solved the economic problem. My second bit of evidence is that the red shift has even failed to stem the growth of federal debt and deficits. My third bit of evidence is Ross Perot.

Look at Ross Perot's analysis of the problem, from his 1992 book United We Stand:

From the Acknowledgments:

For years I watched with concern as the national debt mounted and our competitive position declined.

That is the first sentence. Perot brings two concerns together, and attributes one to the other without any evidence or explanation.

From the Introduction:

I do hope that people who agree with me about the symptoms of our national disease, even if they dispute some of my proposed cures, will use this book...

Symptoms and cures. How about a diagnosis?

This blog, my blog, is almost all diagnosis. Perhaps I'm overly sensitive to Perot's omission. But without a proper diagnosis, we will never solve the problem.

From Chapter One:

The Federal debt is now $4 trillion. That's $4,000,000,000,000. Our political leaders will add over $330 billion to that debt in 1992 alone.

We add about $1 billion in new debt every 24 hours.

Does anyone think the present recession just fell out of the sky?

A bit of nostalgia in those numbers.

"Just fell out of the sky." Note that once again Perot links the federal debt to our economic problems, with no explanation and no justification.

People are unhappy with our economic performance. People are unhappy with government debt. People assume the one is the cause of the other.

No diagnosis. This is why we are unable to fix the problem. It's 18 years since Perot wrote that book, and we're worse off now than ever. That's what happens when you leap from symptoms to cures, and skip the diagnosis.

You can't cure symptoms. You have to determine causes.

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