Political plans all contain contradicting elements

More from the list that could go on for a thousand miles, these examples from A Force for Good blog:

Robert Reich has put on quite a show lately demonstrating the pervasiveness of economic ignorance in political and general discourse.  He does an excellent job showing why economic education is needed.  Unfortunately, his plans, and their flaws, are not unique to him…

From Stalin’s Five-Year Plans to the New Deal to the Great Society, etc etc.  [Political plans] all contain contradicting elements.  Earlier, I discussed how Reich goes from demanding raising wages to demanding falling wages (within a day of one another).  In the past, I’ve talked about his confused case both against and for automation.  But this can be seen in other economic policies: green energy (the federal government subsidizing green energy, yet imposing tariffs on solar panels to make them more expensive), War on Poverty (imposing minimum wage, which harms employment, and the EITC, which supports employment), consumer debt (keeping interest rates low to discourage saving in safe assets but providing non-taxed retirement plans), the list goes on.

This list could go on for a thousand miles

TheCafe’s quote of the day is so good i just had to re-post it in it’s entirety:

[It] is from page 101 of James Gwartney’s and Richard Stroup’s marvelous 1993 primer, What Everyone Should Know About Economics and Prosperity (original emphasis):

Similarly, the record of government planning in the United States is fraught with internal inconsistencies.  The federal government both subsidizes tobacco growers and propagandizes against smoking.  It pays some farmers not to produce grain products and, at the same time, subsidizes others with irrigation projects so they can grow more of the very same grain products.  Government programs for dairy farmers keep the price of milk high, while its subsidies to the school lunch program make the expensive milk more affordable.  Government regulations mandating stronger bumpers make automobiles safer, while the governments Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards make them lighter and more dangerous.  Both increase the cost of automobiles.

Those who think that central planning will promote economic progress are naive.  When business enterprises get more funds from governments and less from consumers, they will spend more time trying to satisfy politicians and less time satisfying customers.  Predictably, this reallocation of resources will lead to economic regression rather than prosperity.

Anecdotes like these are seemingly infinite and they will make your head spin if you’re not careful.