Getting By in This Economy

The bad economy was the common angle on this evening’s local TV news.  Charities need more donations because they’re getting less donations in the bad economy.  More people are turning to charities because of the bad economy.  Restaurants were busier this Easter because of the bad economy (“a rare and welcome break from the kitchen”). 

A conversation I had yesterday sparked an idea.  I’d love to see stories about people rising to the challenge of this economy by making responsible choices so they’ll come out of the economy stronger, more self-reliant and in a better position to help those who need it.

The conversation that sparked this idea was with a former neighbor who has owned and operated a business from her home since I’ve known her.  Over the years she’s cleaned toilets, ran estate sales, provided coaching and administrative services to other businesses and offered notary services among other things.  She lives within her means.  When times were better, she wasn’t tempted to take out a bigger mortgage.  She reminded me that it always pays to be industrious and look for ways to make yourself valuable to others and not to wait around for others to solve your problems.

I’ll make this a recurring thread here.  Please share your stories.  This is how we get out of this mess.

The Price of Muddled Speech

Eight years of lackluster speeches from W.  drove oratory skill to the top of the list of presidential qualifications, well above qualifications like stance on issues, leadership results and demonstration of principles.  A good thing about the next few years may be a return of such qualifications to the top of the list for the next president.

What I Want

In a conversation with a friend over Detroit’s woes, my friend asked “don’t you think we should do something for the people who’ve invested their lives working for the auto companies.  I assumed that by “we” he meant the Federal government and by “something” he meant do whatever it is the government is doing, or something like it, to save America’s auto industry.

I asked, “You want to force everyone to fund your priorities?”  He looked at me like I was crazy.  “I never said that,” he replied.

Didn’t he?  In Applied Economics, Thomas Sowell writes:

Often posterity is invoked, as in this case, where one of the farmers benefiting from [government imposed land use restrictions] was quoted as saying, “I’ve got 10 grandkids and some of them would like to be here someday.  We want to keep farming as long as we can.”   As in many other such cases, what some people want is stated as if it is automatically pre-emptive over what other people want – and as if their posterity’s desires are pre-emptive over the desires of the posterity of other people with different desires and preferences.

This is another example of where good intentions are judged rather than results.  Saying I’m not for the Federal government intervening to help an industry that got itself into trouble is interpreted with wanting the auto workers to starve, which is a mispresentation of my position (see earlier post on that).  Rather,  I want the best for those who lost their jobs and I believe that making sure they get the best is by reinforcing the individual liberty that has generated enormous amounts of prosperity over the past two centuries in this country.  I believe that the more government inolves itself to help these people, the worse off they’ll be.

Laffer Curve Vindicated

I would personally like to thank Obama’s Cabinet members and nominees for providing real world examples of what makes the Laffer Curve work.  It’s mighty ironic that this tax avoidance behavior comes from the side that says the Laffer Curve is nonsense.  Also good examples of cognitive dissonance.