Saturday, June 19, 2010

Arthur Laffer is Out of his Mind

His highness Arthur Laffer graced the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal recently, warning of the impending economic collapse of 2011.  He tossed of this little treasure:
And it's also simple enough for most people to understand that if the government taxes people who work and pays people not to work, fewer people will work. Incentives matter.
Arthur Laffer is out of his mind. I don’t know how anyone can buy the shit he sells.   It's one thing to not believe in certain spending programs out of principle.  It is quite another to deceive believe into believing that cutting taxes is the way to pay for them.

First, as anyone ever decided to actually work less because of tax rates, or government policy? I mean, if you want to make some sort of Randian statement – off with you. But in reality no one makes these sorts of decisions.

Second, does he not believe in unemployment insurance? The idea is that everyone pools their resources so those of us who get the short straw in hard times can weather the storm, and then get back to work. But apparently this entire concept has been lost on him, and he thinks of it merely as welfare. Apparently Laffer thinks it unfair that his health insurance policy pays out to the injured.

As I've said before, only a fool would think that macroeconomics is something easily understood.  But a fool would also base his economic philosophy on his ideological interests.  Republicans, this is why we think you’re out of your minds.


  1. Laffer was laughed out of his position on some economics team for his miserable economics calculation ability. But he still hangs in there. Who gives him his voice?

  2. Well, I think his ideas and credentials give conservatives a seemingly authoritative narrative for their (arguable) embrace of greed and selfishness. And I have no doubt that as a layman, I would have trouble parsing his actual work. But I think from this piece it is clear that he's a crank.