Friday, October 17, 2008

Concerns About An Obama Victory

Ilya Somin:
For what it's worth, I like the idea of a black president, believe that Obama is an admirable person in many ways, and have doubts about McCain's temperament similar to those expressed by George Will. Nonetheless, I fear that the conjunction of an Obama victory, a strongly Democratic Congress, and a major economic crisis will produce a massive and difficult to reverse expansion of government... We know from past history that economic crises are a major opportunity for expansion of government power. Robert Higgs' book Crisis and Leviathan is a good discussion of the basic dynamics. We also know that divided government tends to impede the growth of the state, while united government facilitates it. The combination of united government and a major economic crisis is likely to lead to a great expansion of government, just as it did on several previous occasions such as the 1930s.
(HT Glenn Reynolds)

3 comments:

Jason B. said...

It's so funny to me that people still associate Republican party officeholders with small-government outcomes.

Brian Hollar said...

I see split government as the best brake for government growth. (The Executive in the hands of one part with Congress in the hands of another.) Neither party seems able to restrain themselves when they get full control of the government.

The Republicans used the fear of terrorism as an excuse to grow government. I expect the Democrats to use the financial crisis to grow it even more. Both are moves in the wrong direction.

thinking said...

I agree with Jason...no one can claim that Republicans are for small govt...after these last 8 years, we cannot do worse in terms of growing govt too large.

The problem with split govt is that it can lead to gridlock, which is OK at times, but not so much when we need some big solutions to big problems.

For instance, we need an energy program fast. We need a rethink on many issues, like education, healthcare, etc.

So sometimes we need a huge mandate to advance things forward.

As to the the FDR era, we needed the New Deal. Sure it wasn't perfect, but it probably saved our capitalist market style economy. Without it people probably would have swung to some alternative, as many countries did across the globe, embracing either fascism or communism.

Finally, the Republicans are so corrupt at this state...so devoid of any good ideas...that they deserve to be thrown out en masse. The best thing for the Republican party would be to crush it and force it start over again.