Arnold Kling  

William Easterly

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Hummel on Fed... The Charge of Creepiness...

has a new blog. From his first post:


If you are not accountable for promises, if you try to do everything and focus on nothing, and if you obsess about aid money raised rather than results achieved, haven't you already told us that the money will not be "well spent"?

He is talking about foreign aid, not the stimulus bill. To be fair, Obama's team has promised specific intermediate goals (e.g., the of number of schools to be refurbished), although the results will not be measured (e.g., whether refurbishing a school leads to better education).


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CATEGORIES: Fiscal Policy



COMMENTS (4 to date)

This is one of the great benefits of a Democratic administration as opposed to a Republican one. You now have a party in control that believes in education, competence, thinking, and transparency, as opposed to a party that thinks advanced education, thinking, and competence is elitist and un-American, a party that believes in cronyism, and using government to reward personal and party loyalty, and therefore is against transparency so that can be hidden from the public.

You also have a party that believes government has important roles, and therefore tries to do government well, and has studied hard to gain expertise in it, as opposed to a party that disdains government and so makes little, or no, effort to learn how to manage it well.

You're going to see a huge difference with the Democrats in control, as you saw the last time the Democrats had (moderate) control in the 90s.

Maniel writes:

I love Mr. Serlin's comment (just above) because with just a word change or two, it could apply to a "Republican ... Democratic one." That is why I voted for Ron Paul and why I count myself a Libertarian. As for "huge difference[s]" made by administrations of either party, they have only been to bring us ever higher levels of federal government spending.

Regarding the matter of foreign aid (will that be to or from the USA?): typically foreign aid has meant the transfer of taxpayer money to the government of other another country, guaranteeing that the money will spent to protect and promote that government. Rarely if ever are business plans part of the terms or implementation.

Bill writes:

Richard H. Serlin writes: "You also have a party that believes government has important roles, and therefore tries to do government well, and has studied hard to gain expertise in it, as opposed to a party that disdains government and so makes little, or no, effort to learn how to manage it well."

Mr. Serlin, what evidence do you have that suggests government even has the capability of doing things well. I cannot name a single successful government program whereas I am able to quickly name several that are egregious failures. (Social Security = failing, Medicare/Medicaid = unsustainable. Government's monopoly on public education = declining achievement...)

Babinich writes:

Richard H. Serlin writes:

"You also have a party that believes government has important roles, and therefore tries to do government well, and has studied hard to gain expertise in it"

Charlie Rangle, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank & William J. Jefferson.

Please do not generalize...

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