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Magical, and static thinking

August 15, 2011

From Detroit NewsSuper Geniuses – all of them!!!

Democrats better hurry and soak the rich while there are still enough of them left to make it worth the effort…millionaire’s taxes…. only work if the rich stay richhigh tax and spend policies…produce a lot of ex-millionaires.

Add it up – higher taxes on the rich to erase the federal deficit, to expand entitlement programs and to bail out the states, and the result is fewer rich people. That may be Obama’s true objective. But he can’t wipe out the rich and tax them, too

 It’s fascinating – how can one have both magical thinking AND a competely static mental model for the universe? It caused me to realize, one  underlying assumption of progressives seems to be that the total “pie” of resources for overall society never changes. Progressive policies are largely how to protect, re-divide and cut up the same, static pie – largely under the assumption the pie, like Pumkin pie on Thanksgiving day,  is static and doesn’t change while being cut.
 
Much of the surprise we’re seeing at “no such thing as shovel ready jobs, huh’  is that the pie is a moving target – and this economy behaves like a live uncooked lobster. Not only does it move out of the way when a knife touches it, there are claws to contend with as well. “It wasn’t supposed to do that” – well, it’s sort of like trying to measure the speed and mass of a particle simultaneously – just an attempt at measuring it can change the outcome.
 
More supporting evidence:
LA Times: Obama’s approach contrasts sharply with how President Reagan handled the recession of 1981-82 …Obama’s economists had more hubris and less ambition than Reagan’s. They thought they could predict events accurately and put just the right policies into place.
I will be really thankful when the last vestiges of modern mechanistic “but the models said…” thinking is finally done with. It shows up with this administration, the AGW crowd and in population “a new disaster related to population growth is coming” statistics.
 
It might not be until the Baby Boomers are in retirement homes, but it can’t possibly be soon enough. A little scenario planning, humility and willingness to rethink assumptions when something doesn’t work as planned could go a long way here…
 
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    August 16, 2011 6:50 pm

    Hmm, can’t have your cake and eat it too – imagine that. I thought I remembered a figure of 40% paid no federal income tax, but just ran across an article that quoted a statistic of 47% due to the tax cuts across the board. As you mentioned, wiping out the rich by taxing them to death is only going to make matters worse.

    By the way, I don’t think you can blame the modern mechanistic “but the models said” solely on the Baby Boomers. I think you will find people who rely on models and book-smarts over common sense across the generations.

    • Lynn Comp permalink*
      August 16, 2011 9:35 pm

      Fair point – the main reason for “picking” on the Boomer set is that generationally they are the tail end of “modernity” – age of enlightenment thinking. GenX and millenials tend to be more in post modern philosophy, which unfortunately can lend to nihilsm (witness London?).

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