Wednesday, May 01, 2013

closet keynesian

Who'd have ever thought the tea-partyin governor of Florida, a bullet-headed little felon named Rick Scott, would be a closet Keynesian. His embrace of the federal food stamp program, which now has its own acronym (SNAP) like everything else, shows Scott to be a secret believer in the economics of John Maynard Keynes.

In fact, it is Nerios’s job to enroll at least 150 seniors for food stamps each month, a quota she usually exceeds. Alleviate hunger, lessen poverty: These are the primary goals of her work. But the job also has a second and more controversial purpose for cash-strapped Florida, where increasing food-stamp enrollment has become a means of economic growth, bringing almost $6 billion each year into the state. The money helps to sustain communities, grocery stores and food producers.

So out front, the economy of the state will be saved  by cutting spending and "austerity." But behind the scenes, it's injecting money into the economy that is known to do the job.

Six billions of other people's money, fed money, should help. Sure, that increases entitlement spending and the federal debt, but if you're Rick Scott, you don't publicize that.

"Austerity" -- Let's not and say we did.

Short JM Keyenes: Save during good times; spend during hard times -- the same exact economics program as is laid out in Genesis 41. So you could say that Keynes's economics is both rationally sound and faith-based. It's sometimes called "priming the pump" or "priming the carburetor"  so that even economists can understand it easily. The last thing you want to do with a car that's been stalled a long time is decrease the fuel to the carburetor.

And the last thing you want to do during a depression is cut spending. And make no mistake (as our dear preznit always says) this is a depression. It's not been nearly as bad as the Big One in the 30's precisely because of federal programs like Social Security and food stamps, and state unemployment insurance. Even a bullet-head like Rick Scott understands that.

This was good journalism for a change from the Washington Pile. I guess there is still some news in Izvestia these days, although the only truth I ever see in Pravda is by Paul Krugman.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Dave, that carburetor analogy was timely since my car's one has a similar need too.