Editorial: both the left and the right are wrong about government’s impact

The Woodlands, July 7 – There have been discussions over the past few days about the wonderful triumph of President Trump’s policies in bringing out the lower jobless rates which the Bureau of Economic Statistics announced a few days ago. Liberals claim that Obama was responsible for those results.

There have also been discussion over the past few days about how gun violence in cities such as Chicago and Detroit is the result of liberal government policies. Of course, conservatives claim the opposite.

Then we’ve heard a lot of claims locally, especially from Craig Doyal and Mike Meador, County Judge and Precinct 1 County Commissioner, respectively, about how important government has been to spur “economic development.” Doyal has made crazy comments such as “the debt rating of Montgomery County helps economic growth,” “government creates jobs,” “the pro-business policies of the County bring new jobs and new businesses into Montgomery County.” Meador’s favorite – and craziest – line is that the failing Montgomery County Airport has somehow had a positive economic impact that makes the tens of millions of dollars of losses to taxpayers somehow worthwhile.

Sorry, liberals, Doyal, Meador, and conservatives. On the foregoing issues, every single one of you is completely wrong.

Government rarely has a positive impact in any circumstance. Government certainly has negative impacts. It destroys jobs and skews economic activity through taxation on a macroeconomic scale. The less government there is means that economic activity will more freely follow markets and create true economic growth. Late 19th century America showed the power of free markets when government stayed out of the way (mostly).

Government doesn’t impact the economy as fast as the five months of President Trump’s tenure in the White House. In fact, some of those of us alive today did witness how long it takes for government policies to impact the economy. In 1982, the Reagan administration passed a major tax cut, which economic Arthur Laffer and others would have a massive “supply-side effect” and spur the economy to new levels. Laffer was correct but the effects took quite a bit longer than he and the Reagan administration had expected. The “supply-side” economy occurred in the mid-1990s, so, of course, Bill Clinton wrongfully took the credit. In other words, what we learned is that government policies impact the economy on a macro-scale in about 15 years’ time.

The bottom line is that neither Obama, President Trump, or their policies have had more than a minimal impact on the economy.

The bottom line is that Doyal, Meador, and their “establishment” friends are using propaganda. Montgomery County and Conroe are growing rapidly, because they’re suburban, Houston’s growth has finally reached this area since Spring an north Harris County are becoming congested, and private real estate developers, such as George Mitchell, Bruce Belin, and Danny Signorelli are doing nice work to create beautiful communities for those Houston-fleeing people to live.

As for gun violence, it’s a very complex issue. We do have a lot of gun violence in this country. We also have a Second Amendment which permits us to own guns. The Second Amendment has a strong historical tradition and an even stronger rationale for its policies. Gun ownership is, in fact, a method for individuals to protect their freedom. Any serious reader of the American Revolutionary era would get that.

Gun violence is far more complex an issue than one which would permit liberals or conservatives to blame each other’s government policies. Actually, it’s hard for liberals to blame conservatives for failed government policies, because there are few, if any, government policies which are “conservative” nowadays. Government is growing at such a rapid speed that government policies are nothing but minor revisions of other failed policies. We see that in Montgomery County as well as in almost every other taxing jurisdiction in America.

As for the cause of gun violence, one could make an argument that one of the causes is the fact that Americans don’t learn relationship skills as well as they used to do so. We don’t sit around the front porch talking with family and friends. Instead, we sit in front of the television, or the computer, or the video games. We don’t relate to each other as well. We’ve lost the analytical ability that our society’s citizens had 100 years ago. Instead, we jump to conclusions forced upon our minds from television and mass media. Now, if we feel anger inside of us, we blame the person of a different race standing in front of us or the person whose political beliefs are different from our own. We don’t analyze the cause of our feelings. We don’t relate to the person standing in front of us.

Now, I’m not trying to simplify an issue as complex as gun violence. Neither should you.

The point is, however, that outside of its truly intended functions – law enforcement and national security – government isn’t very good at accomplishing very much. It doesn’t do much good, although its unintended harm is often quite extensive.

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