The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Gullible or Cynical?

by Paul Hein

The first page headline was in the form of a question: "Saving the Economy?" The article described the plan to insert up to two trillion bucks into the banking system. The purpose, of course, is to "stimulate" the economy.

I was reminded of the lemonade stands we had as kids. One of our moms would donate a pitcher of lemonade (in those days, made with actual lemons!) and we’d haul a card table, the pitcher of lemonade, and some glasses down to the curb and shout "Lemonade!" at passing cars. On occasion, a motorist would actually stop and enjoy a glass of our delicious beverage, at a cost of a nickel or dime – I don’t remember the price we charged. In a short time, though, we’d lose interest in the beverage business, gulp down the lemonade ourselves, and go on to other enterprises.

But we were foolish! How could we expect our lemonade stand to prosper with such under-capitalization? We needed, at least, a sign at the end of the block, advising oncoming drivers of the lemonade oasis ahead. And the stand itself should have been more impressive, perhaps with lighting, and bold colors. We could improve our efficiency with an electric juicer, and the purchase of lemons and sugar in bulk.

What we needed, in a word (okay, two), was a stimulus package. Well, in theory, anyway. In actuality, we never even considered approaching our parents for such a package, knowing instinctively that the potential customers to make such a venture profitable just didn’t exist. Lemons by the bushel, sugar by the ton, and electric juicers whirring away, just weren’t going to make people who might be thirsty for lemonade drive down our street, looking for kids with a pitcher of lemonade on a card table.

The proposed bailout, of course, is infinitely more sophisticated, in that it is proposed by distinguished gentlemen in suits, instead of shorts and T-shirts. Big words are used. There are TV cameras everywhere. Really important!

Read the rest here.

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