Monday, March 7, 2011

Tyler Cowen on Fiscal Irresponsibility

Speaking of Tyler Cowen, his article in the NYT today is interesting. First, I agree with him. Two, he cites James Buchanan, someone I vaguely remember hearing about in an undergraduate course on taxation and government finance (and in which I got a B grade and I'm not sure at all what I learned). Anyway, since then Buchanan won a Nobel in economics, and his work on "public choice" seems very interesting. But back to the point: do democracies spend too much--almost always? I does seem that Keynes's insight has been badly abused. We should only run deficits in times of real need, not endemically, as we have mostly since WWII. However, to cut now is perhaps to risk jolting a delicate economy with a shock that it can't very well withstand. In fact, to hell with "the economy". Remember, we should really be concerned about people, living human beings will families to feed and bills to pay. I think that we have to make some very tough choices indeed.

Cowen expands on his argument & brings in some comment from his spot @ Marginal Revolution.

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