.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Saturday, February 28, 2009

self-interest vs. proper role for government

Currently, there is no shortage of topics of conversation in the realm of economics. It seems as though almost every person I talk to makes reference to the current state of the economy, the stimulus bill, the housing market, or some other dire sounding issue. I find it amusing to see how the same people who ask me what exactly economics is as soon as they find out that it is my major are often the ones that are the most outspoken on the economic issues of our day. I don't claim to know it all, not by any means, nor do I mean to call non-econ majors ignorant. My point is that the majority of the comments that I hear seem to have one focus at the center: "what does it mean for me." And this is completely understandable, predictable, and okay. I think that the difference is that most people who study economics (as well as many others who don't), while they too are self-interested, also attempt to focus on what is the proper role for government. For those that only focus on how the government's policies and actions effect them, will make that their lens for judging their actions.

In the provided article (in the link), President Obama describes the current plan to handle the economic crisis. Here is an excerpt from the article:

"Obama said that passage of the economic package "is a major milestone on our road to recovery." The President, in his weekly radio address on February 14, thanked the members of Congress who voted for the bill. Obama said the package will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years, boost business and consumer spending and establish the groundwork for long-term economic growth. He stressed, however, that the economic plan is only the beginning of action that must be taken to stabilize and reform the banking system and make credit available to families and businesses. "Our long-term economic growth demands that we tame our burgeoning federal deficit; that we invest in the things we need, and dispense with the things we don't," Obama asserted. The President acknowledged that his agenda is challenging but that it is possible to "turn this crisis into opportunity."

When President Obama states that "this is only the beginning of action that must be taken," it makes me wonder what this will really mean and what he thinks the proper role for government. It seems to me that he thinks that it is the governments job to take care of most everything, and be in charge of most everything. Does the government always have to do something? I agree that something should be done, but it doesn't make me feel good simply to know that something will be done, even if it sounds like it appears that it might benefit me. I am wary of pleasant sounding benefits that are seem to only make people feel good about more government control in their lives.

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?