February 29, 2008

Interesting. 267 words. – Grimgold

Filed under: Guest Comment — grimgold @ 8:06 am

In 1960 Ghana had the same per capita income as South Korea. Today South Korea is the twelfth-wealthiest nation in the world while Ghana sits at number 100. Why? Because Ghana followed a socialist model while South Korea followed a free market model.

Forty years ago the leading Irish export was young people leaving for jobs outside the country. Today Ireland has a higher per capita income than Germany, and 160,000 temporary workers from Eastern Europe live in Ireland. As a result of a generation of cutting taxes, reforming education, investing in infrastructure, working hard, and reshaping its government to be friendly to foreign investment, the German Bundesbank now projects that Ireland is on its way to becoming the wealthiest country in Europe per capita. In fact, European Union bureaucrats in Brussels complained that Irish taxes were too low and that they were therefore cheating, which meant that in order to slow down to the rest of Europe’s rate Ireland needed to raise taxes.

Bad policies lead to bad outcomes. But the reverse is true as well.

If we have the right policies, policies that expand our free market sys tem, we can create better outcomes than we can imagine.

America’s ability to win, and not just compete, in the global economy depends in part on our having the world’s most efficient capital markets. We need substantial reforms in this area if America is to be the

This is a page out of Real Change by Newt. Hope you enjoyed it; hope those of you who haven’t, pick up the book. Grimmy


  1. A lot of people in Georgia bought Newt’s book, Grimmy. Especially when the price of toilet paper for their outhouses skyrocketed.


    Comment by Volt — February 29, 2008 @ 9:45 am

  2. High voltage, don’t you realize that when you talk like that you’re giving me material?
    Seriously, I see how you feel about the messenger – any comment concerning the material?

    Comment by grimgold — February 29, 2008 @ 1:43 pm

  3. Grim-

    I dont understand your love for Newt but whatever. In terms of the Irish the following info is from the Irish Republic’s government. Pay close attention to the first and second items.

    Ireland has enjoyed economic prosperity during the closing years of the twentieth century. However the roots of this prosperity may lie some years before. Contributing factors include:

    Roots of Prosperity

    high standards of education producing a young skilled workforce

    a commitment to open markets – many years of consistent policies with regard to Foreign Direct Investment

    good co-operation between Government, Industry and Trade Unions with regard to economic policy

    the return of skilled emigrants to Ireland

    the work of industrial promotional agencies and the various incentives offered to overseas investors.

    No child left behind has not and will not give us the type of educated workforce we need. It has been a failure that has caused more students to drop out of education than to improve their status. Second the Bush administration has done its best to destroy unions which is the direct opposite of the Irish approach.

    Maybe the Obama administration can do what the Irish have done but McCain will never play nice with unions or fix No Child Left Behind.

    Comment by N — February 29, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  4. N, why did you omit the fact that the Irish cut taxes as one of their methods of becoming one of the wealthiest country in Europe per capita?

    Comment by grimgold — February 29, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  5. Grimmy,

    Your worship of the free market has you cherry picking from strange right wing trees.

    We tried the unfettered free market in the U.S. on the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    We got a great Depression for out trouble.

    Remember that old computer saying “Garbage in…Garbage out.


    Comment by Volt — February 29, 2008 @ 9:48 pm

  6. Grim, the Bush tax cuts have been a colossal failure. They have not met any of their target goals in job creation or in “paying for themselves”. Trickle down, once again, didn’t trickle down. Now we see that 40% of all the debt ever incurred by our nation’s government since George Washington has come under this absurd tax-cutting regime. 70% of this nation’s total national debt has come under Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. The Chinese now own a large amount of our debt, as do the Japanese. Conservative economics has failed, and failed catastrophically. Our national debt will be $11,000,000,000,000 by 2010. (In 1980 it was $1 trillion.) My kids and grandkids are going to be stuck with that. Will conservatives accept any of the blame? By the way, it’s wartime. Patriotic Americans pay taxes to help win it–as they did in WWII.

    The tax levels of 2001 were fine. They were hardly strangling the entrepreneurial spirit, inasmuch as the 90s had seen the greatest burst of venture capitalism since the 19th century, Look up the stats–job creation, median income growth, the stock market, any of the measures you want–Clinton’s presidency was far better for the average American than Junior’s.

    I was a teacher for many years. Believe me, this NCLB junk is doing enormous harm. And where’s the infrastructure investment we need in America? It’s clearly insufficient. But when you’ve thrown away $500 billion on a war you didn’t need (and maybe $3 trillion once you count all the ancillary costs), that’s what you get.

    Republican governance has been a disaster. It’s time for conservatives to face the music and admit it.

    Oh, and one more thing–Ireland isn’t devouring a huge percentage of its wealth on defense related expenditures. The U.S. now outspends the rest of the world combined on defense.

    Comment by Joseph52 — March 1, 2008 @ 2:07 am

  7. BTW, here are some interesting data on the Irish tax system:

    Comment by Joseph52 — March 1, 2008 @ 2:11 am

  8. Grim-

    I did omit cutting taxes the Irish Government did. I posted what the Irish themselves called the root of their prosperity. Taxes were indeed cut in Ireland but the beneficiary of those tax cuts were the middles and lower class not the upper class as is the case with the Bush cuts. The Irish use a progressive tax system where by taxes go up with your income. The complete opposite of the Bush system. Also as noted by Joseph52 the Irish don’t start selective wars and waste billions of dollars on other unnecessary military expenditures.

    Comment by N — March 1, 2008 @ 9:45 am

  9. Volt, the Great Depression was not caused by the free market, as much as it was by lack of good rules within which the free market can work. For example, competitors are not allowed to act like gangsters and kill each other. No one is allowed monopoly (at least that’s what’s supposed to happen). Right in the middle of the depression, the govt raised taxes. This made it much worse – check it out.

    Comment by grimgold — March 1, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

  10. Joe, I agree with a lot of what you say, but the fact is that the Reagan and Bush tax cuts were not accompanied by cuts in federal spending, which was wrong as it led to debt and inflation.
    Clinton only got his great economic stats because a republican majority pressured him, especially concerning welfare.
    The republicans today are not behaving as they should, as we all know. Being a conservative is difficult because I’m getting blamed for things I don’t approve of that repubs have done, porkbarrel earmarks, for example.
    As a conservative I want smaller govt as I’ve expressed exhaustively on this blog. Lower taxes should always be accompanied by less govt spending.
    I agree with you whole-heartedly about our spending on troops and equipment overseas as being a huge burden.
    Concerning nat. debt, again I agree except it’s worse than 11 trillion because it’s accompanied by inflation which is much more prevelent than the media admits.
    N, it’s difficult to give tax breaks to the “lower classes” (a Marxist expression) when the naked fact is they don’t pay taxes! I see nothing wrong with the rich getting lower taxes as long as they are also operating in a very competitive marketplace, thereby passing on the tax breaks in lower prices to consumers and in the creation of more jobs. I repeat, the fed govt should cut spending, mirroring the tax cuts, and it irritates me that the bozo in office now won’t do it.
    Joe, one further comment, GW is not a conservative, so don’t lump him with me.

    Comment by grimgold — March 1, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  11. Grim, in 1993 every conservative said Clinton’s tax policies would be a disaster. Have any of them EVER admitted their judgment was 180 degrees off? Clinton increased the Earned Income Tax Credit enormously as well, greatly benefiting lower class Americans. BTW, lower class people DO pay taxes. They pay property taxes, sales taxes, and FICA taxes. (Studies indicate, btw, that about 60% of U.S. corporations pay NO income taxes whatsoever.)In fact, when you look at the Bush tax program, its benefits went overwhelmingly to people at the top–trickle down economics in action. It doesn’t work, it’s as simple as that. Our current “prosperity” has been fueled by consumer spending/borrowing/refinancing that simply can’t be sustained any longer. Bush’s tax cuts had NOTHING to do with it, except to make our situation more perilous. I have yet to see you make the case that our tax structure in 2001 was stifling growth. The evidence just isn’t there. In 2000, we were discussing how to spend the surplus and anticipating the end of the national debt by 2012. Seems like a long time ago. . It’s difficult to see how welfare reform had anything to do with the 90s economic boom. (Compare federal spending on welfare prior to welfare reform to tax breaks for corporations and interest payments on the national debt.) The 90s boom was fueled in part by the tech bubble, yes, but also by Wall Street’s confidence that Washington was following sound, prudent fiscal policies.

    Why is it when Bush was on top that conservatives rushed to praise him? (I’m not saying you, specifically in any of this, Grim.) Now that he’s at the bottom, he’s not a conservative? I say, live with him, die with him.

    Comment by Joseph52 — March 1, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

  12. Joe, you are most certainly correct about the “lower class” paying all kinds of taxes – almost said it myself but was getting a little long. As a result of Bill raising taxes we headed into a mild recession just as GW was taking office (remember how the libs tried to blame it on him even though he’d only been in office a week?). Or maybe I’m wrong. You could certainly make a case that the high tech “bubble” which caused that dumb-ass Greenspan to raise interest rates thirteen times in little more than a year triggered the recession, and I couldn’t argue the point. Or perhaps it was a combination.
    My argument is that we should have a very competative environ in which corporations are put out of business for monopoly-like practices and jail time for those who don’t play by the rules, yet corps should pay no taxes. None. Not only that we should also pay taxes only when we consume…. I rave on, sorry.
    Tax cuts should be accomponied by reduced spending as I’ve laid out exhaustively.

    I really liked GW until Harriet Meyers awakened me. How horrible to have to admit to you liberals that he really was and is a dumb-ass. He is. And he’s no conservative no matter what he says – as per his record while in office.
    I say we need much lower taxes and less govt to go along; and a non-inflating dollar (not necessarily a gold standard though that would work).
    This is my last comment on this Bart page, catch me on newer article comments. Glad to talk to you, look foreward to more of it! Grimmy

    Comment by grimgold — March 1, 2008 @ 9:26 pm

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