The doomed-economy weight-loss plan
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, March 27, 2014


Warning: I am in a very bad mood. I donít know why, and it may not last until the end of this column. Weíll see.

This is the sequence of events. On the first day of spring, I felt I might be catching a cold, so I went shopping for cat food, ginger ale, chicken soup and orange juice, in case I didnít feel like going out again ó which I still donít. Then, my computer got sick, too, something to do with the hard drive and things that happen despite all the virus blocks (here, computer, have some chicken soup). Off it went to the shop for five days.

So, instead of attending my first-ever Republican convention, as a guest of Karyn Polito, candidate for lieutenant governor, which I was going to tell you about this week, I spent Saturday in bed. Chip brought me apple juice and his extra laptop, but I had little interest in the latter, thought my forced hiatus from connectivity might be a good time to read a book a friend published online. Chip had downloaded it onto the Kindle he bought me despite my protestations, and I have to admit that while I will always prefer a real book in my hands, when you canít buy something in a bookstore, the Kindle comes in handy.

So, I read ďIn Defiance of Reason: the Failure of Modern Economics and the Coming Dark AgeĒ by Daniel Smith, which has everything we need to know about economics. I had to learn it the hard way, one rational perspective at a time over 50 years, from Thomas Aquinas in high school, to Ayn Rand, eventually to Rand Paul. I didnít take econ during my brief college career, but I soon found the Aquinas legacy in the Austrian school of economics: Ludwig von Mises, Bastiat, Hazlitt, with personal tutelage from my favorite local Austrian-born economist, Heinz Muehlmann, who advised the Prop 2Ĺ campaign.

That campaign led me to read Howard Jarvis, whose ďMad as HellĒ initiated the 1978 property tax revolt in California. Later, Ross Perot explained the difference between the deficit and the national debt to a then-eager audience of Americans. Try getting their attention now!

Then, there was Nobel Prize-winner Milton Friedman, who argued that the Great Depression had been caused by the Federal Reserveís policies through the 1920s, and worsened in the 1930s. He thought that laissez-faire government policy is more desirable than government intervention in the economy.

The Austrian economists especially are cited in Dan Smithís book, so it was like having old friends visit my sickbed; he also brings us up to date on the Federal Reserve. I was very happy, sipping apple juice, turning pages of the Kindle. Cozy as I was with my hot water bottle, I didnít overreact to Smithís conclusion: that we are doomed.

Iíd figured that out myself in recent years; it was intellectually gratifying to me that Iíd arrived at the same conclusion, even though I spend a lot of time in denial, trying to keep everyoneís spirits up, including mine. I donít understand some of the technical language of the economist, never mind of the engineer that Smith is, but I do get the point: a country canít borrow its way into prosperity or even ongoing solvency.

I went to find some direct quotes in Smithís book but found that the Kindle battery was dead and I had to plug it in. What? I donít have to plug in my other books.

And I then realized where my good, ďIím sick so I might as well be happyĒ mood went. Chip returned my computer. Once again, I was in contact with the world. Days of mostly unwanted email poured into my little office; Iíll never catch up. Yes, I know the rule: just delete. I spend an awful lot of time deleting. Is this what life is supposed to be about: keeping ahead of the deletions?

While enjoying my sick-time reading, I came to realize how much time I spend commenting online on newspaper columns, including my own. While one meets some interesting people there, the ratio of intelligent to irrational is discouraging.

Checked out the information about the Republican convention that Iíd missed. I donít blame Richard Tisei for attending a Kiwanis pancake breakfast instead. There they go, Republicans fighting each other again instead of creating a unified front against the Democrats who are running this state into the ground. Think weíll be able to elect the management ability to run our commonwealth during the coming national meltdown?

I am sick of the incompetent governor, the useless liberal Congress, the scandal-a-day in the local media. Iím sick of those whose priority is not freedom with personal responsibility, but forcing their agenda onto other people. I like to assume most readers of this column are rational and concerned about America. If you could read Daniel Smithís book (from ebooks on Amazon), you might be in a bad mood, too.

Time for bed, need a dose of nighttime NyQuil. Canít get the #*&*%$ childproof cap off. Knife, scissors, shred, kill.

Hey, I havenít had any appetite all week, think Iíve lost weight? Wow, 12 pounds! A good start for spring. No more bad mood; I may fit into my favorite clothes by summer. Life is good, until the new Dark Age arrives.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle-Tribune newspapers.

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