Monday, November 12, 2012
The Gnomes' Economic Argument
Do you remember the South Park episode featuring Gnomes with an innovative business plan?
Phase 1: Collect Underpants
Phase 2: ??
Phase 3: Profit!
It belatedly occurred to me that by intoning the phrase "cutting taxes creates jobs" like a mantra, the GOP made the Gnomes' economic argument during the past Presidential campaign. The argument made sense to us free market types because we already believed it, but to "low information" voters the argument looked like this:
Phase 1: Cut Taxes
Phase 2: ??
Phase 3: Jobs!
Mitt Romney never elaborated on Phase 2. None of us did.
We already know that most Americans are "low information" when it comes to economics and the operation of markets free or otherwise. "Low information" in this context does not mean "disagrees with me," it means "lacks a rudimentary acquaintance with economic principles."
American voters are going to get a lesson in economics for the next four years. We cannot sit back and assume that anyone will reach an informed conclusion about the pain we'll be suffering, there are already many who believe that Obamacare-related layoffs are the product of revenge rather than, e.g., an extra $80,000-$100,000 in expenses per fast-casual restaurant. We need to explain Phase 2. These are the conditions that encourage jobs, these are the conditions that discourage jobs, here is why. All of us, relentlessly, or else 2016 will have the same grim result.