Wednesday, September 19 , 2018, 10:04 pm | Fair 64º

 
 
 

Jeff Harding: Conventional Wisdom and Our Stagnating Economy

Perhaps it's time for a 'new' approach, with policies proven to make economies grow and people prosper

Gallup came out with a recent poll that revealed an interesting sentiment held by our fellow Americans:

“More Americans say it is important that the federal government enact policies that grow the economy and increase equality of opportunity than say the same about reducing the income and wealth gap between the rich and the poor. ...

“These data, from a Nov. 28-Dec.1 Gallup survey, show that while 46 percent of Americans believe it is extremely or very important that the federal government in Washington reduce the income and wealth gap between the rich and poor, 70 percent say it is important for the government to increase equality of opportunity, and 82 percent say it is important for the government to grow and expand the economy.”

I think the poll’s purpose is to send a message to our politicians that the Occupy Wall Street movement is not as significant as “making the economy grow.”

Normally I would laud this sentiment, but if you think twice about it, it is telling us that a strong majority of Americans believe that government has not only a role in making the economy grow, but that it actually can do that. That is not a very encouraging sentiment, but it is the conventional wisdom. It would be nice to think that those polled believe that the government needs to do less (i.e., get the hell out of the way) and let businesses create wealth and jobs, but I don’t think that is the case.

The great H.L. Mencken referred distastefully to the American electorate as Boobus Americanus. In terms of understanding economics, that pretty well sums up the conventional wisdom people profess. It is my belief, if you scratch the average American, she would say that the government should “run” the country and the economy. That is not only wrong, but dangerously wrong as we have learned from our current depression. The government was the main cause of this depression as well as the Great Depression, but the opposite view (‘unregulated capitalism”) is one that has taken hold of society.

If you disagree with this viewpoint, then ask yourself, why hasn’t the economy recovered in light of all the money poured into the economy by the government and the Fed? Why is the economy stagnating and not swinging back into positive territory? Perhaps you might wish to consider that the policies advocated by all the economics experts have been implemented and have failed and thus perhaps their policies are wrong. Or perhaps you would like them to continue doing the same things to the same results.

The Daily Capitalist is all about change — for the better. It’s called unconventional economics wisdom: policies that have been proven to work time and time again to make economies grow and people prosper. Perhaps we should try the unconventional, which is the opposite of what is now being done.

— Jeff Harding is a principal of Montecito Realty Investors LLC. A student of economics, he has a strong affinity for free-market economics. This commentary originally appeared on his blog, The Daily Capitalist.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >