The Corona Bailout

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There are libertarians who favor the two trillion dollar bailout, but basic libertarian principles oppose it. Let me argue both sides and see what emerges.

Con: The money that government spends comes from somewhere, and the government can't create money, so it is "robbing Peter to pay Paul."
Pro: The rich, in their guise as Wall Street, love the bailout — and they are the ones who will end up paying for it.

Every American voter is going to remember the "free" money they got and thank Trump for saving their life.

Con: It will lead to bigger government.
Pro: If you concede the principle of minarchism, that the army, the police, and the fire departments are proper roles for government, then disaster management is probably OK. The solution is huge because the problem is huge.

Con: The Democrats got a lot of their labor rights policy agenda in under cover of the bailout bill, forcing Republicans to pass it.
Pro: This may well be what guarantees a GOP landslide, which is much better than a socialist landslide. Every American voter is going to remember the "free" money they got and thank Trump for saving their life. Biden's coronavirus plan will look seem like Trump Lite.

We have what is really a capitalist-socialist hybrid. And everyone is addicted already.

Con: The bailout fundamentally reordered the American system of government and economics.
Pro: Americans have short memories, and the government giving away money and taking credit for saving civilization is nothing new. Anything that actually is new probably won't last.

Con: This will usher in socialism and addict the working class to it.
Pro: That's already happened. We have what is really a capitalist-socialist hybrid. And everyone is addicted already. At least this crisis period will have a discreet and finite end, the point when the number of daily new corona cases in the USA is zero. Then we're back to Trump's conservative capitalism utopia.

I myself, In sum, from a libertarian point of view, am moderately opposed to the bailout. But I think it's no big deal — in the grand scheme of things. Right now our problem is not the bailout; it's the virus. And what about our problems tomorrow? Well, if there is a tomorrow, we'll deal with it tomorrow.




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Comments

Frequent Visitor

Russell -- I think you want the word "discrete" here, not "discreet".

Nice thought experiment, though

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