Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Response From Mr. Stanford From Journal Sentinel

The following is a response to my recent blog, Letter From a Caveman, that I sent to Journal Sentinel columnist Gregory Stanford.

Mr. Navratil:

Thanks for your message. Your thesis, though intriguing, has glaring flaws. The one I shall mention is that it just does not pan out in practice. States with higher rates of taxation than Wisconsin – among them Minnesota, California and Massachusetts – are among the nation’s leaders in economic activity. And you completely ignore the economic-development impact of public spending – OK, I’m mentioning a second flaw. Try to go to market without roads or hire a good workforce without schools. Oh, and I thought I was being gentle with Speaker Huebsch.

Gregory Stanford
Editorial Writer/Columnist
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Denis Navratil said...

By citing the Minnesota, Massachusetts, and California examples, Mr. Stanford seems to be suggesting that high taxes result in increased economic activity. Of course there are other factors involved in economic output besides taxes, and I am certain that there are plenty of examples where high tax states (Wisconsin comes to mind) have lower economic output as well as low tax states with higher economic output. All things being equal, however, people will produce more if they get to keep what they produce, while people will produce less if they don't get rewarded for their efforts. It is a phenomenon that is easily observed, makes perfect sense, and has been seen throughout history, yet the left willfully pretend otherwise for reasons mostly unbeknownst to me.

Stanford also uses the ridiculous example of trying to go to market without roads or to hire a good workforce without schools. This is what we call a straw man argument, a favorite among the left that I encounter, and only a step above the personal attack. Has any state eliminated or even proposed eliminating roads and education? Of course not and Stanford knows this.

And Stanford thinks that describing people as less intelligent than a caveman is being gentle? Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

I know that this is off of the topic a bit, but I guess that Mr. Stanford has never seen the "Geiko Caveman" commercials. :)

grumps said...

There are states that have sliced their school systems to the bone and pay the price for it. Louisiana and Mississippi are not generally known as high-tech hotbeds for a reason.

Access to markets via a first-class road system is a prime driver of economic development. Changes in hours-of-service laws and high energy costs give a marketplace advantage to companies who can leverage the infrastructure.

Penny-wise and pound-foolish applies in these cases as well. Look at the steam pipe failure in New York last week and multiply it by decades of neglect.