Economics 101

The Volokh Conspiracy is often thoughtful.  Today, they have an article (look near the bottom of the page) on economic policy and the economic illiteracy (illeconomocy?) of politicians.  They suggest:

  • Support Free Trade
  • Oppose Farm Subsidies
  • Leave Oil Companies and Speculators Alone
  • Tax the Use of Energy
  • Raise the Retirement Age
  • Invite More Skilled Immigrants
  • Liberalize Drug Policy
  • Raise Funds [subsidies — Ed.] for Economic Research

Which two of these absolitely positively don’t belong (I won’t address “the” retirement age, as this is a separate topic)?  Taxing energy and subsidizing economics research.  This is typical of the blind elephant.  Not guided by any clear principles–or any principles at all–they flounder.  Sometimes they get it right–like free trade.  Sometimes they get it wrong–like subsidizing the researchers that will, not suprisingly, recommend against free trade.

Subsidies to science is what created the current climate of warmenism orthodoxy that even this marginally free market blog feels it must pander to (tax energy use) in order to sell a handful free market policies.

One of our problems is that the government is itself an interest group.  This comes about because of the lack of separation of education and state, science and state, and economy and state.


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