Saturday, July 31, 2010

Your Socialist is Showing

“Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I confess to having deliberately committed the sin of Roosevelt.”

It’s a well-known fact that a basic litmus test for authentic conservativism is an undying devotion to supply-side Reaganomics. And it is also a well-known fact that all conservatives are required, by law, to abhor Keynesian economics (although most of us don’t know much about what Keynes actually said, he makes an effective dogmatic foil – like “Valdimort”). At least as a very simplified model, Keynesian economists focus first on the problem of solving demand, which means full employment and high wages to drive consumption. They believe that the government can and should use the monetary and fiscal instruments at its disposal to increase the “circulation rate” of money in the economy. In other words, they can take money from the market to give to an intern at the Treasury who will subsequently come up with some hare-brained scheme for how to put it back out into the market in a way that will have greater stimulative effects than had it just been left there, in the first place. We conservatives are having none of it.

So if that’s the case (and it is), why all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the wage effects of illegal immigration? What red-blooded conservative American cares? Apparently, the theory of anti-immigration conservatives is that, by increasing wages at the bottom of the ladder through decreasing labor supply, we will usher in an economic revitalization based on lottery tickets, pink plastic flamingos, and “I’m With Stupid” t-shirts. An interesting theory, but not one typically identified with pro-business conservative economic principles.

Most economists agree that lower labor costs redistribute wealth to capitalists, which is reinvested, as they would say, “more productively,” generating more jobs and more wealth for the country, as a whole. Or rather, I should say that it’s possible that they will reinvest this money. It’s also possible they will just pick up an extra mistress or two, or upgrade to the yacht with the helipad, or maybe build a secret lair inside of a dormant volcano on a tropical island. But I digress.

This wealth redistribution, of course, will be a difficult thing for those on the lowest rung of the wage ladder, but our response, as card-carrying free-market capitalists, should be a comforting pat on the hand while we patiently explain that it’s really in their best interest that they make less money.

“For your penance, you are to watch Knute Rockne, All American, and double the Christmas bonus for your maid, nanny, and gardener.”

No comments:

Post a Comment