Independent voices from the TWT Communities
President Obama's re-election has put a new spring in the step of environmentalists, renewing hope not just for more aggressive climate-change policy but for continued emphasis on "green" energy despite the spectacular failure and serial bankruptcies of Solyndra and other green-energy darlings.
Northeasterners affected by Tuesday's massive storm are beginning the process of assessing the damage. Initial estimates suggest it could cost anywhere from $20 billion to $100 billion to bring things back to where they were before Hurricane Sandy struck.
Now more than ever, Americans want to be inspired by their political leaders, and true leadership is needed desperately. The economy, not just in the United States but worldwide, is in dire straits. Rapidly escalating debt, overextended entitlement programs, immigration and health care all present domestic problems that require intelligent, principled solutions.
Why does government stimulus spending fail? When considering the success of economic programs, the 19th-century French economist Frederic Bastiat urged us to look at both "what is seen and what is not seen." Now a program at the Department of Commerce provides ample evidence of Bastiat's prescience. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) provides a strong warning against future stimulus spending: When it comes to stimulus, the unseen costs are often greater than the visible benefits.
Frederic Bastiat, the 19th-century French economist, explained "legal plunder" by saying, "When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it -- without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud -- to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated."
Bastiat explained that the broken-window fallacy is based on a failure to perceive the "unseen."