The Lure of the Free Lunch

Thomas Sowell ends a criticism of liberalism with:

But the lure of the free lunch goes on.

He begins with:

I first became aware of the law of gravity as a small child when I pedalled by tricycle off the porch and crashed into the yard. Gravity was of course operating all along, whether I was aware of it or not.

His title was “Ignoring Economics”. These are interesting words in light of a few Sowell op-eds that Cactus has provided us with to make the case that Thomas Sowell is a hack. These op-eds have a common theme, which is often called free lunch supply-side spin. Sowell is ignoring the most basic principle of economics – that being the law of scarcity. As we noted early today, neither President Reagan nor President George W. Bush reduced government purchases as they people their money back, which served to increase private consumption. I would Sowell trust understands that an increase in the sum of government purchases and private consumption translates into less national savings, which tends to crowd-out investment. After all, this is macroeconomic speak for the law of scarcity. Of course, this reduction in investment demand does not lower long-term growth to zero even if the evidence shows that long-term growth has been lower under the periods when Reagan and the two Bushes have been President.

Might I suggest that Sowell spend less time looking down his nose at liberals and more time applying his own wise words above to how he thinks about fiscal policy.