Pawlenty!?!?

Some tidbits I’ve read and heard from your recent speech concern me.  Like this one (by way of  Megan McArdle’s blog):

Let’s start with a big, positive goal. Let’s grow the economy by 5%, instead of the anemic 2% currently envisioned. Such a national economic growth target will set our sights on a positive future. And inspire the actions needed to reach it.

We don’t need politicians setting national growth targets.   This part of your speech is  better:

The United States is still home to the most dynamic and entrepreneurial people in the world. They’re all around us. Ready to innovate, invest, compete and create new businesses and jobs. That will mean opportunities for everyone.

They’ve been discouraged and weighed down. By President Obama’s big government. And heavy handed regulations. They deserve a better deal. I’ll give them one. And here it is.

Though, you can buy yourself some ears if you don’t just pin big government on Obama.  He has contributed, but so did pre-08 Republicans and Congress in general, who have put politics ahead of behaving like adults.  Don’t let them off the hook.

Here’s the version of this part of the speech I would have edited for you:

The United States is still home to the most dynamic and entrepreneurial people in the world. They’re all around us. Ready to innovate, invest, compete and create new businesses and jobs. That will mean opportunities for everyone.

They’ve been discouraged and weighed down. By our big government.  And heavy handed regulations. They deserve a better deal. I’ll give them one. And here it is.

We need to get government out of the way and let innovative Americans do what they do best.  Find ways to serve their fellow citizens in ways that their fellow citizens want and value.

How many of you know what tax rate you will be paying this year?  How about in 2013?  Do you feel confident that you know what your health insurance will look like in two years?  These uncertainties help prevent new job formation.

Our government has grown its spending by 93% since 2000 while the size of our economy has grown by 42%.  We cannot grow the bureaucracy of government at more than twice the rate of our economy and expect the economy to remain healthy.

Bureaucracies do not meet the needs and wants of our fellow citizens as effectively as our fellow citizens.  Government bureaucracies are like the DMV.  We need less of that and more ingenuity and freedom.

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Last Call!

In a recent interview with Dennis Miller, Tim Pawlenty offers a great illustration of how incentives matter.

All you really need to know about what we need to do with government is go to two weddings.  Go to one where there is a cash bar, go to one where there’s an open bar and you’ll see very different behaviors.

And the government has been running itself like an open bar.

If you run systems and programs where people have no idea what the price is, no idea what the quality is, the only measurement is how much they consume, and the provider of it has the measure of how much volume they can provide and the fiction is created that the bill goes somewhere else, that system is doomed to fail.

Unfortunately, that’s most of what we have in government, we’ve been running it as an open bar mentality.  The party needs to come to an end in that regard.  We got to switch to people being in charge of more of their own money, give them good information about price and quality and to the extent we can afford it, give them help, but give it to them directly.  Don’t run it through a big bureaucracy based out of Washington DC.

Sometimes the answers are hiding in plain sight.  The open bar analogy is perfect.  We can all identify with it.  I’ve had some rough nights after an open bar.  Not so much with a cash bar.  We all respond to incentives.

Yet many people unrealistically want to believe that we can have an open bar and somehow control behavior to prevent the downsides that causes.