The Foundation of the Economy

“Men said that four out of every five fish-balls served at New England’s Sunday breakfast came from Gloucester, and overwhelmed him with figures in proof – statistics of boats, gear, wharf-frontage, capital invested, salting, packing, factories, insurance, wages, repairs, and profits.” — Captains Courageous, by Rudyard Kipling

That was one hundred and fifty years ago, more or less. Today it would be more compelling to say of a small town that four out of every five of the state’s maximum security prisoners were incarcerated there.

The Instapundit notes people are asking why is this election even close, implying that with the economy so bad Romney should be way ahead. He quotes and excerpts several good observations. I tend to think that the government is now so big a part of the economy that if working people vote their pocket book, they’ll vote for bigger government, simply because nobody but government is likely to hire them. In the long run this is bad for us all. In the short run, what man is going to vote that he himself be laid off for the greater good, or that his unemployment be reduced from 99 weeks to 12? We might argue that nobody will vote that his own taxes be raised either, but fewer and fewer people pay any net federal tax.

Now one misconception is that if the Republicans win they will lay off large numbers of government employees. They will not, because they will not shrink the government. It might not grow as fast as with the Democrats; different parts might grow; but grow it will. The other misconception is that the Democrats will raise taxes on a handful of rich old men and some mega-corporations. They will raise taxes on all of us, one way or another.

Prediction

Because of the electoral voting system there’s not much I can do about it but grieve, but I think President Obama is going to be reelected. The odds favor him at the gambling sites I’ve checked, and the Iowa Electronic Markets say he’s likely to win. I hope the Republicans keep the House and take the Senate, which might somewhat slow the rate at which the government will grow.

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