Dan Mitchell: The Biden Administration, for instance, claimed the economy would benefit if Congress approved a costly $1.9 trillion “stimulus” plan last year. Yet we wound up with 4 million fewer jobs than the White House projected!

 

Another Failure for Keynesian Economics and Interventionist Government

Keynesian economics is based on the misguided notion that consumption drives the economy.

In reality, high levels of consumption should be viewed an indicator of a strong economy.

The real drivers of economic strength are private investment and private production.

After all, we can’t consume unless we first produce.*

Not everyone agrees with these common-sense observations. The Biden Administration, for instance, claimed the economy would benefit if Congress approved a costly $1.9 trillion “stimulus” plan last year.

Yet we wound up with 4 million fewer jobs than the White House projected. We even wound up with fewer jobs than the Administration estimated if there was no so-called stimulus.

So what did we get for all that money?

Some say we got inflation. In a column for the Hill, Professor Carl Schramm from Syracuse is unimpressed by Biden’s plan. And he’s even less impressed by the left-leaning economists who claimed it is a good idea to increase the burden of government.

Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz rounded up another 16 of the 36 living American Nobel Prize economists to declare, in an open letter, that…there was no threat of inflation. …The Nobelists’ letter showed that those signing had bought Team Biden’s novel argument that its enormous expansion of social welfare programs really was just a different form of infrastructure investment, just like roads and bridges. …The laureates seemed to have overlooked that previous COVID benefits had often exceeded what tens of millions of workers regularly earned and that recipients displaced by COVID were never required to look for other work. While the high priests of economic “science” were cheering on higher federal spending, larger deficits and increased taxes, employers were and are continuing to deal with inflation face-to-face. …The Nobelists assured that we would see a robust recovery because of President Biden’s “active government interventions.” Their presumed authority was used to give credence to the president’s continuously twisting storyline on inflation — that it was “transitory,” good for the economy, a “high-class problem,” Putin’s fault for invading Ukraine, and the greed of oil and food companies… Today’s fashionable goals seem to have displaced the no-nonsense pragmatism that has long characterized economics as a discipline. …Don’t expect a mea culpa from Stiglitz or his coauthors any time soon. …They can be wrong, really wrong, and never pay a price.

The New York Post editorialized about Biden’s economic missteps and reached similar conclusions.

President Joe Biden loves to blame our sky-high inflation on corporate greed and Vladimir Putin. But a new study from the San Francisco Fed shows it was Biden himself who put America on this grim trajectory. …other advanced economies…haven’t seen anything like the soaring prices now punishing workers across America. Which means that the spike is due to something US-specific, rather than global prevailing conditions. That policy, was, of course, Biden’s signature economic “achievement.” …The damage it did has been massive. …inflation…to 7%… Put in concrete terms, a recent Bloomberg calculation translates this to an added $433 per month in household expenses for 2022. And historic producer price inflation, a shocking 10%, guarantees even more pain ahead.

For what it’s worth, I don’t fully agree with Professor Schramm or the New York Post.

They are basically asserting that Biden’s wasteful spending is responsiblefor today’s grim inflation numbers.

I definitely don’t like Biden’s spending agenda, but I agree with Milton Friedman that it is more accurate to say that inflation is a monetary phenomenon.

In other words, the Federal Reserve deserves to be blamed.

The bottom line is that Keynesian monetary policyproduces inflation and rising prices while Keynesian fiscal policy produces more wasteful spending and higher levels of debt.

I’ll close with a couple of caveats.

  • First, Friedman also points out that there’s “a long and variable lag” in monetary policy. So it is not easy to predict how quickly (or how severely) Keynesian monetary policy will produce rising prices.
  • Second, Keynesian deficit spending can lead to Keynesian monetary policy if a central bank feels pressure to help finance deficit spending by buying government bonds (think Argentina).

*Under specific circumstances, Keynesian policy can cause a short-term boost in consumption. For instance, a government can borrow lots of money from overseas lenders and use that money to finance more consumption of things made in places such as China. The net result of that policy, however, is that American indebtedness increases without any increase in national income.

P.S. You can read the letter from the pro-Keynesian economists by clicking here. And you can read a letter signed by sensible economists (including me) by clicking here.

P.P.S. Keynesianism is a myth with a history of failurein the real world.

It’s also worth pointing out that Keynesians have been consistently wrong with predicting economic damage during periods of spending restraint.

  • They were wrong about growth after World War II (and would have been wrong, if they were around at the time, about growth when Harding slashed spending in the early 1920s).
  • They were wrong about Thatcher in the 1980s.
  • They were wrong about Reagan in the 1980s.
  • They were wrong about Canada in the 1990s.
  • They were wrong after the sequester in 2013.
  • They were wrong about unemployment benefits in 2020.

Call me crazy, but I sense a pattern. Maybe, just maybe, Keynesian economics is wrong.

The Failure of Bidenomics, Part V

Our series on the failure of Bidenomics has touched on four topics.

For our fifth edition, let’s turn our attention to the president’s misguided fiscal policy.

This means analyzing three pieces of legislation.

First, his so-called stimulus was approved last year, adding $1.9 trillion to the nation’s fiscal burden. The president and his team claimed it would lead to four million additional jobs, but the net result was a drop in employment compared to the White House’s own projections.

Second, his costly infrastructure plan also was approved last year, though only a small fraction of new spending was actually for roads and bridges (and even that spending should be handled by state and local governments).

Third, his “Build Back Better” proposal dramatically would expand the burden of government spending – by $5 trillion over the next decade! Along with a plethora of economy-sapping tax increases.

Regarding the third item, the president so far has not been able to convince all Democratic senators to support the scheme. And with the Senate evenly split between the two parties, Biden needs all of their votes to get his plan approved.

With any luck, that will never happen.

So what is the plan wrong? Along with several hundred other economists, I signed on to this letter explaining why Biden’s massive expansion of the welfare state would be bad news for the country.

The most important part of the statement is that bigger government would “reduce the number of people working, badly misallocate capital, and hobble economic growth.”

Based on research from the Congressional Budget Office, the damage would be enormous, reducing worker compensation by $1.6 trillion over the next ten years.

What about the other issues mentioned in the statement, such as debt and inflation?

It’s not good that debt goes up, of course, but that’s a symptomof the bigger problem, which is government consuming a greater share of the nation’s output.

Also, at the risk of being annoyingly pedantic, I don’t actually think Biden’s budget would increase inflation. That only happensif the Federal Reserve adopts bad monetary policy.

That being said, central banks are more likely to adopt bad monetary policy when politicians are following bad fiscal policy. So the core assertion is correct.

P.S. I don’t know whether to characterize this as absurd, pathetic, addled, or dishonest, but Joe Biden actually claimedhis budget plan has zero cost.

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race? Co-authored by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop)

C. Everett Koop
C. Everett Koop, 1980s.jpg
 
13th Surgeon General of the United States
In office
January 21, 1982 – October 1, 1989

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 1 | Abortion of the Human Race (2010)

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 2 | Slaughter of the Innocents (2010)

 

 

Abortion: What Is Your Verdict? – R.C. Sproul

John MacArthur on Romans 13

 
 
Image<img class=”i-amphtml-blurry-placeholder” src=”data:;base64,Edith Schaeffer with her husband, Francis Schaeffer, in 1970 in Switzerland, where they founded L’Abri, a Christian commune.

________________

______________________

September 6, 2021

President Biden  c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. I know that you don’t agree with my pro-life views but I wanted to challenge you as a fellow Christian to re-examine your pro-choice view.

In the past I have spent most of my time looking at this issue from the spiritual side. In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer

__________________________

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? which can be found on You Tube. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.

Today I want to respond to your letter to me on July 9, 2021. Here it is below:

THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON

July 9, 2021

Mr. Everette Hatcher III

Alexander, AR

Dear Mr. Hatcher,

Thank you for taking your time to share your thoughts on abortion. Hearing from passionate individuals like me inspires me every day, and I welcome the opportunity to respond to your letter

Our country faces many challenges, and the road we will travel together will be one of the most difficult in our history. Despite these tough times, I have never been more optimistic for the future of America. I believe we are better positioned than any country in the world to lead in the 21st century not just by the example of our power but by the power of our example.

As we move forward to address the complex issues of our time, I encourage you to remain an active participant in helping write the next great chapter of the American story. We need your courage and dedication at this critical time, and we must meet this moment together as the United States of America. If we do that, I believe that our best days still lie ahead.

Sincerely

Joe Biden

___________________

I especially noted this from your letter:

Our country faces many challenges, and the road we will travel together will be one of the most difficult in our history. Despite these tough times, I have never been more OPTIMISTIC for the future of America.

President Biden, you have chosen to abandon your Christianity and pursue humanist concerns!! So how can you say humanism has an OPTIMISTIC POINT OF VIew?

H. J. Blackham was the founder of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION and he asserted:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

I wanted to reach out to because of some of the troubling moral issues coming out of your administration. I recently read this article about the Humanist group that enthusiastically supported you for President:

‘Humanists for Biden-Harris’ to mobilize nonreligious vote

The group hopes to reach atheists, agnostics and other religiously unaffiliated voters who make up the largest belief group in the Democratic Party.

Materials line a table during a gathering of atheist, humanist and secular leaders in Temecula, California, for the first SoCal Secular Leadership Summit, which was held from March 1-3, 2019. Photo courtesy Heather AdamsMaterials line a table during a gathering of atheist, humanist and secular leaders in Temecula, California, for the first SoCal Secular Leadership Summit, which was held from March 1-3, 2019. Photo courtesy Heather AdamsSeptember 28, 2020By Jack JenkinsShareTweetShare

 

(RNS) — A new group is launching an effort to court nonreligious voters for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, hoping to mobilize a fast-growing — and deeply liberal — community to benefit Democrats in November.

The “Humanists for Biden” group, a project of the Secular Democrats of America, unveiled its plans on Monday (Sept. 28). The group is chaired by Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The humanist and nonreligious community is poised to be a very significant part of this presidential election in that we represent maybe 30% or so of Democratic voters,” Epstein told Religion News Service.

The group also announced a slate of co-chairs that includes Sarah Levin, who also co-chaired the Democratic National Convention’s Interfaith Council and heads Secular Strategies, an organization that mobilizes secular voters.

“Humanists for Biden marks the first time representatives of the nation’s growing number of secular Americans have been invited to participate in a coalition of communities of faith and conscience, working together on a Presidential campaign,” read a press release from the group. “The Biden-Harris campaign is working to create the most inclusive campaign and administration in the history of American politics, and we are honored to take part in this effort.”

Epstein said Humanists for Biden hopes to reach a broad swath of atheists, agnostics and other religiously unaffiliated voters who make up the largest belief group in the Democratic Party, constituting around 28% of its members, according to political scientist Ryan Burge.

While some are atheists and agnostics, other unaffiliated Americans still believe in God or pray regularly, according to a 2019 Pew Research study.

Even so, Epstein argued that the many nonreligious Americans are united by “humanistic values,” such as a belief in science as “the best tool that we have to create a healthy world,” as well as support for racial justice, pluralism and inclusion.

“We stand as humanists and people united by humanistic values for basic human decency, empathy and compassion that we feel that the Biden-Harris campaign represents far more than its competition,” he said.

 

Religiously unaffiliated voters, despite backing Democrats over Republicans in the 2018 midterms 75% to 22% according to Pew, have been criticized in the past for relatively low turnout on Election Day compared to other groups.

But Epstein pointed to new research that suggests religiously unaffiliated turnout is heavily impacted by the fact that it is largely made up of young voters who are also known for underperforming on Election Day.

What’s more, he said the group can only benefit from targeted mobilization, something Democrats have rarely done in the past.

“With a group like that that supports you so strongly and leans so heavily in your direction, you want to mobilize that group as much as possible,” he said.

Humanists for Biden is not officially part of the presidential campaign, but Epstein said campaign staff — including national faith outreach directors for both the Biden-Harris campaign and the Democratic Party — are slated to appear at the group’s first official event on Thursday.

“We feel supported and valued, and that has absolutely never been the case before for our community at this level,” he said, adding that Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat and humanist, will also speak at their upcoming event.

The group has even selected a swing state where it can target its efforts: Arizona, where around 27% of the population is unaffiliated, according to Pew.

Epstein pointed out that Arizona is home to lawmakers such as Athena Salman, a state House member who identifies as an atheist and as a humanist. The state is also represented by Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat and the only U.S. Senator who identifies as religiously unaffiliated.

The ultimate goal of the initiative, Epstein insisted, was not only to generate “historic turnout” among secular and nonreligious Americans, but also to build a stronger coalition with religious liberals.

“We recognize that their deeply held religious values resonate strongly with our humanist values,” he said. “We simply want to be a part of the conversation. We want to be in the tent. We want to be able to fully help as equals.”

Francis Schaeffer in CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO shows how today’s secular religion of humanism is now the most influential in the world today:

CHAPTER 4 THE HUMANIST RELIGION (Page 445)

 

The humanists have openly told us their views of final reality. The Humanist Manifesto I (1933), page 8 says

Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.
Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any super-natural or cosmic guarantees of human values.

And Carl Sagan indoctrinated millions of unsuspecting viewers with this humanistic final view of reality in the public television show Cosmos: “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” The humanist view has infiltrated every level of society.

If we are going to join the battle in a way that has any hope of effectiveness – with Christians truly being salt and the light in our culture and our society – then we must do battle on the entire front. We must not finally even battle on the front for freedom, and specifically not only our freedom. It must be on the basis of Truth. Not just religious truths, but the Truth of what the final reality is. It is impersonal material or is it the living God?

(page 445)

The HUMANIST MANIFESTO I and II both state that humanism is a religion, a faith. [Manifesto I: pages 3 and 7; Manifesto II: pages 13 and 24.] Manifesto I, page 9, very correctly says: “Nothing human is alien to the religious.” Christians of all people should have known, taught, and acted on this. Religion touches all of thought and all of life. And these two religions, Christianity and humanism , stand over against each other as totalities.

The HUMANIST MANIFESTOS not only say that humanism is a religion, but the Supreme Court has declared it to be a religion. The 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins specifically defines secular humanism as a religion equivalent to theistic and other non theistic religions.

On page 19 the HUMANIST MANIFESTO II says: “It [the state] should not favor any particular religious bodies through the use of public monies…” Ironically, it is the humanist religion which the government and courts in the United States favor over all others!

 

______________________________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband. Now after presenting the secular approach of Nat Hentoff I wanted to make some comments concerning our shared Christian faith.  I  respect you for putting your faith in Christ for your eternal life. I am pleading to you on the basis of the Bible to please review your religious views concerning abortion. It was the Bible that caused the abolition movement of the 1800’s and it also was the basis for Martin Luther King’s movement for civil rights and it also is the basis for recognizing the unborn children.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

 

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