Monday, January 14, 2008

Road to Serfdom

There is an interesting debate brewing over a plan by Governor Doyle to offer tax breaks for business start-ups and research and development. According to an article in yesterday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Republicans "tripped over themselves praising Doyle's proposals" while some Democrats had their doubts. Democratic Senator Bob Jouch said that "Wisconsin already handed out too many tax breaks to 'specific groups or well-connected individuals.'"

Doyle spokesman Matt Canter defended the plan. "For Wisconsin to be a forward looking state, we have to incentivize the kind of economy we want."

Well herein lies the problem. When government incentivizes the economy it wants, it disencentives the economy that free individuals would otherwise create. When government favors one type of economic activity, it harms all other types of economic activity that are put in a disadvantaged position.

When government incentivizes the kind of economy it wants, it is taking one more step towards controlling the economy and controlling you.


Nemo said...

Quiet you. Don’t you know that Governor Doyle has nothing but our best interests at heart? If you and others would just give those very targeted and very small tax cuts a chance, we in Wisconsin could soon see the type of economic success that the USSR had with the management of it’s economy.

Anonymous said...

Wow...trotting out the old treatise of the original neo-con/libertarian Fred von Hayek...followed by equally cold-hearted Ayn Rand

I will have to pull out some old quotes from his book on economics that I read decades ago. What a dark view of mankind von Hayek had!

"This is from the end of an article about Hayek's philosophy by Alain Benoist:

Liberal doctrine claims that all can be bought and sold in a self-regulated market. As Rosanvallon put it, this economistic ideology "translates the fact that relations between men are understood as relations between market values." As such, it subscribes to the denial of the traditional difference, recognized at least since Aristotle, between economics and politics or, rather, it only grasps this difference in order to invert relations of subordination between the first and the second. It leads, then, to what Lepage calls the "generalized economy," i.e., the reduction of the social dimension to an economic (liberal) model, by means of a process founded on a methodological individualism which legitimates itself with the conviction that, "if, as economic theory claims, economic agents behave in as relatively rational way and generally pursue their best preference in matters of producing, investing, consuming, there is no reason to think that it works differently in other social activities; e.g., when it is a matter of electing a representative, choosing a profession, then a career, taking a spouse, having children, foreseeing their education ... The paradigm of homo oeconomicus is thus used not only to explain the logic of production or consumption but also to explore the ensemble of social relations based on the interaction of decisions and individual actions."[55]

Hayek's efforts differ from classical liberalism because of his attempt to re-ground the doctrine at the highest possible level without recourse to the fiction of the social contract and by attempting to avoid the critiques usually made of rationalism, utilitarianism, the postulate of a general equilibrium or of pure and perfect competition founded on the transparency of information. In order to do this, Hayek is forced to raise the stakes and to turn the market into a global concept necessary because of its totalizing character. The result is a new utopia, predicated on as many paralogisms and contradictions. Actually, as Caille put it, were it not for "the welfare state's failure to achieve social peace, the market order would have been swept away a long time ago." A society based on Hayek's principles would explode in a short time. Furthermore, its institution can only be the product of a pure "constructivism" and would undoubtedly require a dictatorial state. As Albert O. Hirschman writes, "this allegedly idyllic privatized citizenship, which only pays attention to its economic interests and indirectly serves the public interest without ever playing a direct role -- all of this can only be achieved within nightmarish political conditions."[56] That today "national thought" is being reinvigorated by this type of theory says a lot about the collapse of this thought."

colt said...

In a great work the State would lower taxes for all.
I will take what I can get.
In the Case of Film Wisconsin we are going to see in 2008 250 Million in investment to do films in this State
that cash will help folks find job hotels fill rooms extra cash to buy gifts the whole 9 yards.
This money would never would have happened if not for the tax incentives.
This Film Tax credits was done in the beginning by 8 folks one of them from Racine and as Scott Robbie Director of Film Wisconsin if not for the Director of It Came From Lake Michigan the Film credits would have never started.
If an old fat man with a thing for Redheads in bunny suits can get this sort of tax incentives done just think what you guys could do with your education and political connections.
I fully suggest that you start to work on this.
If you like a place to start Racine would be best put paid to the idea that an Uptown art project or a Grant Writer is more critical then Firemen.
With respect Tax credits and incentives can be a good thing when used wisely.

Nemo said...

Colt, in general I agree with you that any tax cut is a good tax cut but I worry about the corrupting influence of such micro-targeted cuts. I feel that this may just be a way for Doyle and the government establishment to reward cronies and donators.

As for anon, who is John Galt?

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does anyone else think that Doyle looks like a pervert? Seriously.

Anonymous said...

He also looks like Satan (Peter Stormare) in the movie "Constantine".

Anonymous said...

You are least the left just says that Bush looks like an idiot.

Anonymous said...

"You are least the left just says that Bush looks like an idiot."

At least Bush doesn't look like a child molester.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh yes...

There we go.

Nemo said...

I always felt he gave off a Dr. Evil vibe. Any day now he’ll propose another massive tax increase
to buy some sharks with frick’en laser beams on there heads.