A couple of weeks ago, David Boaz discussed the Old Testament story in which the people of Israel ask Samuel for a king to rule over them. God’s instructions to Samuel can be summed up as “tell them to be careful of what you wish for.” David brought up the passage in the context of civil liberties, but the story’s lesson also applies to economic liberties.
Over the past eighty years, the public has become conditioned in times of crisis to turn to their rulers and demand that they “do something.” That the rulers had a hand in the crisis is all too often either unrecognized or it’s a secondary concern. As Robert Higgs demonstrated in his seminal book, Crisis and Leviathan, the rulers will willingly oblige the public and, in the process, come away with more power and control than they had prior to the crisis. Unfortunately, the rulers’ enhanced authority begets more crises in the future.
[I]n trying to fully understand why the government undertook such a useless and poorly calculated program, it’s important to recognize those who truly walk away from this policy in better standing.Realtors, home builders and mortgage bankers…. some of the most notable culprits of the housing bubble years… all walk away cleanly skimming the proceeds coming from the transactions of an estimated 2 million temporarily stimulated home purchases.It should come as no surprise that these were the very same industry groups that worked tirelessly lobbying to enact this failed policy… it was a simple exchange… your tax dollars to their wallets.
If buying a used car is among your cost-cutting measures…be prepared to pay up to 30-percent more than you did last year.It is a simple case of supply and demand.Trouble is…there are fewer used cars.The cash-for-clunkers program took a bunch off the market.Plus, Edmunds Senior Editor Bill Visnick says 5-million fewer new cars were sold last year…which pares down the used car supply even more.
[W]e have a government program whose stated aim was to shore up huge, failed corporations by giving public money to mostly upper-income people that in the end will penalize low and middle-income people. But remember folks, it’s the libertarians—who opposed C4C—who are greedy corporatists who hate the poor.