Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Coming Soon: History 101

Either tomorrow or Friday, depending on how lazy I am, I will start a new series on Christian Fearing God-Man entitled "History 101."

Drawing conclusions from history, comparing and contrasting the past and present, is a good thing.  As with anything, there's a downside to it.  People like to cherry pick which historical facts and truths they use in their arguments.

The basis for this is the whole budget thing.  Every Democrat seems to point to the 1950's as a time where Keynesian economics brought about an economic boom.  They use that particular era as some sort of proof that government spending equates to economic prosperity.

After doing some reading about the 1950's economic climate, I've come to the conclusion that many people are cherry picking, and that the 1950's is nearly incomparable to what we've got going on right now economically.

So this new series will be purposed to shed some light on historical references that people make.  It's not just for your benefit, but for mine as well.  I'm no Historian Saint, as I'm aware that I've cherry-picked, too.  So lets just take this as a way to keep me and my readers honest.

Tomorrow's article will be about the 1950's economy and why it doesn't relate to what's going on now.  So tomorrow, look for "History 101: The 1950's Misconception."


Silverfiddle said...

Good for you, Jack. This is an heroic undertaking.

If big government and its big programs really were the key to every greater prosperity, then why are we in the mess we are in?

Joe Markowitz said...

I'm not sure the 1950's are the period you want to look at to find out whether Keynesian economics worked on not. Eisenhower was a pretty big believer in balanced budgets. It was the 1940's when we ran historically huge deficits.

Also I believe the Keynesians would say that what is important is not so much the percentage of the economy that is represented by the government. Rather it is the size of the deficit itself that can create the multiplier effect. In other words, not too many people would argue that if we confiscated all private property, that would be good for the economy. But if we have a lack of demand in the private sector, government spending, especially deficit spending, can make up for some of that slack.