Archive for February 22nd, 2011

Economic Theology Rides Again

I have said over and over through the years that no one whose first priority is economics has ever solved an economic problem. Hitler stated flatly that a problem he faced in leading a political party was that he had to come up with economic proposals, and he had never had the slightest interest in any economic theory.

So when the Depression came, only one new regime promptly solved it, and in the country known for having the worst depression of all.

Smallpox was not the first disease wiped out in white countries while it was still a major problem in Asia within my memory. Leprosy was wiped out in the Middle Ages by Europeans, who treated lepers as lepers.

In the 1960s lepers were still begging in the streets in Saigon.

No white countries were as unsuccessful, to say the least, than the Communist ones whose whole basis of life was an economic theology. The world has totally forgotten that Japan was a third-world country until after World War II.

Japan was the first country ever to have a per capita income equal to that of the United States a generation later.

China, meanwhile, was a third world country legendary for its poverty and went DOWN after the Reds took over. China was the bastion of pure Communist economic ideology and Japan had no economic philosophy at all.

Nixon once said, “We are all Keynesians now.” His history was wrong. He quoted the liberal line that economists had demanded a balanced budget in the middle of the Depression, as Keynes said they did. A friend of mine did his dissertation on that subject and proved that not one single economist at the time had advocated balancing the budget in a time of depression.

ALL economists in the actual 1930s advocated anything but a debt-based stimulus of the kind Hitler used to snatch Germany out of its depression. It was the bankers, and the Democratic platform of 1932, that demanded a balanced budget. The bankers had their theology out of economics.

But in a sense Nixon was right. Keynes’ big work was his General Theory in 1936. It was a theology of how government could keep the economy running right. In that sense, they are all Keynesians now.

National interest, race, and all the other considerations have been thrown out. We do not talk about racial survival, but only of affirmative action. We do not talk about having the immigration our national interest requires, but about the theology of “a nation of immigrants.”

Making a theology of economics, whether libertarian or Marxist or Federal Reserve “fine tuning the economy,” is always a failure, and for an obvious reason. Once you decide on an economic theology, you cannot just take care of the economy and go on. You have no choices if your whole philosophy dictates ONE approach to economics.

Hitler did have an economic theology. It was called Lebensraum, the idea that Germany had to take territory to survive. If Germany had concentrated on itself instead of expansion, it would have remained the success it was in 1936, when it alone had solved its economic problems.

This is why America cannot understand Islam. The US is absolutely mystified by people who are really upset about our siding with their enemy Israel. There has to be an economic motive behind it.

Socialists, Randians, economic conservatives, income distribution liberals, Tea Party types demanding an end to abortions and deficits, none of them understand why, in a world where all motivations are economic, a person will blow himself to Kingdom Come without some “practical” motivation.

And, chained as we are to two parties whose only serious basis is two conflicting economic theologies, we keep worrying over deficits until the next crisis makes us forget them and run them up.

The big push to take care of the Runaway Deficits which crested with Ross Perot first in the polls for the presidency against BOTH major parties was forgotten by September 12, 2001.

It’s Big News again.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about something that matters.