Quick Takes On Economic Policy

Thoughts for a Wednesday on liberal vs. conservative approaches to economic policy and on the minimum wage.

Liberal vs. Conservative Stimulus

Events of the last year have illustrated a basic philosophical difference in the approach to governing and the approach to economics between liberals and conservative. Generally speaking, conservatives place a stronger trust in the individual and in personal decisions and accountability. Liberals place a stronger trust in government and tend to believe that government can actively help and protect the people. A recent example illustrates how those underlying beliefs play out.

Aside from a fundamental belief that people should be allowed to keep as much of their money as possible, if the economy is in a position where there is a need for stimulus then conservatives would tend to cut taxes and allow people to keep more of their money.

Recent stimulus checks show the contrast.  The federal government collected tax money, and then returned the tax money they received back to the people that sent it (with certain income restrictions—high earners did not get a check). Of course, doing it that way meant that instead of people just keeping their money that they sent in for taxes, the Federal government had a whole lot of people processing tax money received only to turn around and send a lot of that money back to where it came from.

One cannot help but wonder why the preference would be for a process that is so obviously inefficient and requires hiring government employees to send money back to where it came from. And when a person would wonder about that, it begs the question about if part of the reason (whether overtly or maybe subconsciously) is to increase government control and promote a culture that views the government as the answer to problems. If nothing else, it makes certainly gives food for thought…

Minimum Wage Things To Ponder

Apart from the other any other issues related to raising the minimum wage, but if we are to have a $15 minimum wage then….

  • wouldn’t we want Social Security to be the equivalent of $15 an hour, too?
  • and shouldn’t unemployment payments be less than that, so that a person does not make more money collecting unemployment than they would working?

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