Posts Tagged ‘David Breuhan’

In the book, you use the term Unenlightened Benevolence. What does that mean?

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Unenlightened benevolence is attempting to solve a problem and actually making it worse.

A recent program that meets this definition is Cash for Clunkers. After taking a majority stake in two of the three major automobile companies in the United States, the government has now paid individuals to buy cars from these companies.

This program replaced an asset that was owned by the driver (an old car) with a  liability (a new car) that carries with it 60 payments for five years. The net effect is additional taxation in the form of higher annual license fees and automobile insurance.
The intent of the $3 billion program was to help domestic auto manufacturers, but the Ford Focus was the only domestic car ranking in the top ten of all cars purchased under this program.

  • Sales of General Motors and Chrysler vehicles continued to decrease.
  • Total sales were equivalent to only three weeks worth of annual U.S. cars sold.
  • Total fuel savings between the vehicles turned in and those replacing them were roughly 22 seconds of annual U.S. consumption.
  • The government either borrowed or artificially created the money to finance this program. This ultimately results in inflation and a weak currency.

Cash for Clunkers ignored the basic function of markets by redirecting consumers’ limited resources away from their most highly valued use. Consumers purchased cars they didn’t need instead of paying down their debt.  Apparently members of Congress ignored the lessons of “everyone should own a home.”

For more on Cash for Clunkers, watch a presentation by the author

What do you think about the current stimulus plan?

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Take the “promise” of 3 million jobs created and divide it into $787 billion… that equals $262,000 per job! Does that make sense?

In April 2008, the Bush Administration attempted to stimulate the economy with their own $150 billion  plan – a strategy that resulted in no additional jobs created, a higher national debt and a weaker currency.

The Obama Administration’s  $787 billion stimulus package is evidence that the government thinks more is better. Educate your Members of Congress and Senators that repeating the same behavior will not result in a different outcome.