The General Theory of Progressivism

Instapundit links Bill Quick with this comment:

Incentives work, even when they’re perverse.

Exactly! And incentives are the key to the failure of progressivism. As I wrote three years ago:
Modern-day liberalism has not been thought to have such a consistent theme. It appears to be a mishmash of grievance, entitlement, guilt, envy, group identification, deification of elected leaders, and love of big government.

Until now. I believe the unifying theme of modern-day liberal positions is the inability to recognize the incentive effect.

The media and liberals (but I repeat myself) have a myopia where they obsess on first-order effects and do not recognize second-order effects. Incentive effects are a complete mystery to them.

Click on over for a full discussion with examples.

The terminology has changed. "Liberals" are now "progressives" (which liberates the term "liberals" back to its noble classical liberal origins). But the General Theory is stronger than ever, and the failure of progressives in power to understand incentive effects is largely responsible for the disastrous fiscal and economic situation the U.S. finds itself in.

Firing all the (Keynesian) macroeconomists and hiring a few microeconomists would be a good start.


Doo Doo Econ said...

This will sound cynical, but my general theory of progressivism is simple.

Since the beginning of Progressivism, undesirables have been sterilized, contracepted, aborted, and their family unit has been dismantled. All the nicety surrounding progressive policies is just a facade to hide the fact that the movement is run by establishment elitists determined to maintain and expand their own power. Progressive leaders will say or do anything to obfuscate the truth for money, power and the feeling of superiority.

Negocios Loucos said...

Macro vs. micro, I am often dumbfounded by the Liberal's ability to ignore math. I even know someone with a PhD in mathematics who refused to consider the numbers I presented because the numbers don't matter to these people. It's all about their faith in the curve. Apply a formula here, an algorithm there and the actual numbers aren't important. When I stepped though the money flow for say unions having their pensions bailed out by the government and explained that we don't have pensions and asked how much more of his wage he should pay so that a union member can retire? How much less of an ability for you to retire should you sacrifice to pay for someone else's retirement, he simply ignored the numbers. He ignored the question because with religion you don't need to know truth or math, you just need to believe the leader that certainly doesn't understand math is right and there is no need to argue.

And these macro economists with their brilliant, Nobel Prize winning theorems, that people belief are somehow right are destroying the world's economic system.

Progressives are idiots, progressive leaders are sociopaths.

SurvivalAndProsperity.com said...

It still blows my mind that liberals somehow managed to co-opt the term "progressive." I know plenty of progressives- but not all of them are liberals.

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