Monday, September 13, 2010

Economic-solution checklist

Heavily borrowed from the original spam-solution checklist, here's my economy-solution checklist. No more do you have to craft an original rebuttal detailing why some online commenter's proposed economic “solution” won't work. Now, just mark an X for each statement that applies. Save time for something that matters.

Your post advocates a

( ) legislative ( ) private-sector ( ) psychological ( ) vengeful

approach to fixing the economy. Your idea will not work. Here is why it
won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular

( ) Democrats won't allow it to happen
( ) Republicans won't allow it to happen
( ) At some point the debt must actually be paid back
( ) Infrastructure requires continual upkeep
( ) The regulations are what are plugging up the tax loopholes
( ) That much bureaucracy cannot be eliminated all at once without
    creating havoc
( ) The "solution" will be worse than the problem we're currently facing
( ) The gap between rich and poor will be widened
( ) The solution will not scale
( ) The solution doesn't do enough
( ) Other countries won't put up with it
( ) It will make our country uncompetitive
( ) Elected leaders will eventually just change the benchmark metrics
( ) Elected leaders will eventually just declare a perpetual state of
    emergency to get around the restriction
( ) Exponential growth will make the solution untenable within a mere
    decade or so
( ) We'll just end up with new rich people who are even worse than the
    current ones

Specifically, your plan fails to account for the following:

( ) The Constitution expressly prohibits it
( ) Unpopularity of raising taxes
( ) Specifics of which taxes are to be increased/created
( ) Unpopularity of reducing benefits
( ) Specifics of which government programs are to be cut
( ) Climate change / environmental concerns
( ) Peak oil / resource-availability concerns
( ) Deadbeats / tax cheaters
( ) Most people do not favor anarchy
( ) The black market
( ) Manufacturing jobs no longer pay what they once did
( ) The laws of thermodynamics
( ) The trade deficit
( ) Special / vested interests
( ) Transition costs
( ) Communism has a poor track record
( ) Free markets have a poor track record

And the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( ) Ideas similar to yours have been proposed before but have not worked
( ) What worked in the past is not guaranteed to work in the future
( ) What works for anyone does not always work for everyone
( ) The situation is more complex than your simple solution implies
( ) Stimulus money must be targeted at value-adding projects, not
    people who don't create anything of worth
( ) Overspending got us into this mess and will not get us out of it
( ) Whatever makes _your_ personal circumstances better doesn't
    necessarily make the economy better
( ) Your idea is popular ideology and has already been proposed a
    million times before so please shut up already
( ) It's unfair to future generations
( ) Eliminating safety nets causes real pain for individuals and
( ) Those regulations are preventing a lot of bad things from happening
( ) Your idea exemplifies the broken window fallacy
( ) Your idea exemplifies some other fallacy: __________________________
( ) Our interest-bearing markets require continual growth
( ) It's unclear that immigration has anything to do with the problem
( ) Implementing your idea will make the next recession even worse
( ) It's counterproductive to frame the problem as a morality play
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) It creates a dangerous precedent
( ) Do you not realize that, globally speaking, you _are_ a rich person?
( ) You've cherry-picked your facts and are ignoring valid

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) Well intentioned but try again
( ) Please go bone up on your basic math, logic, and/or economic
( ) Your "solution" is obviously a thinly veiled attempt at lining your
    own pockets, jerk


Laura said...

thoroughly enjoyed this

Rachel Means said...

I love this! I'd like to go on the record by saying that this is your first blog with the subject of economics that my eyes didn't glaze over after the first paragraph! ;-)

cmbrandenburg said...

Rachel—it's good to hear you still kinda read this blog!