Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Now We'll See If Lenin Was Right

It now appears that American voters chose Barack Obama as their new president. As was presumably apparent in my latest post, I think that was a big mistake which will make things much worse.

The one silver lining that can be found in this misery is the one I mentioned after Congress passed the Wall Street bailout: namely, now the coming economic problems to a higher extent be associated with bad policies. Even had McCain won -or indeed even had Ron Paul won-, the American economy would have faced serious problems due to the damage created by Alan Greenspan. While the problems wouldn't have been fully as bad as they will be now, it still would have been bad. And so, to some these problems would to some have been associated with the lack of the kind of socialist policies that Obama stands for.

Now, with both Congress and the White House controlled by the Democrats, America will pursue consistently statist and so consistently destructive policies, policies that will now hopefully be associated with the coming economic problems.

This kind of reasoning was reportedly first adopted by Vladimir Lenin who argued to his fellow communists that "worse is better". By that he meant, that communists should welcome if things get worse for the common man under non-communist rule, since that will increase their willingness to turn to communism for alternative solutions. While presumably nearly all of my readers disagree with Lenin's communist policies, one can't deny that he was a smart and successful strategist (after all, he and his fellow Bolsheviks did win in Russia). But then again, there is little evidence that it was the "worst is better" strategy that worked for him.

Given the fact that things will now be worse, we can only hope that Lenin's "worse is better" strategy will work for the anti-statist political forces in this case. It wll be years at least before any definite conclusions can be drawn. I am however quite pessimistic about this considering how the failed statist policies of Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson failed to strengthen any anti-statist backlash. And while the U.S. economy will certainly contract for the coming year or so, there might be a temporary cyclical upswing before 2012. Leftist economists will likely try to falsely credit that temporary cyclical upswing to Obama's policies.

Hopefully, I am too pessimistic about the outlook for Lenin's "worse is better" strategy now that we know that a turn for the worse will occur, but I doubt it. And the only thing we know for certain is that things will get worse in the near future because of Obama's victory.


Anonymous bill said...

i agree think that 'worse is better' will work.
my hope is today vs 1920's with the speed that news moves, and that politicians can not as easily hide behind lies(its easier to fact check then ever) people will see the truth this time.

because the other option is 'worse is better' will fall to someone extremely totalitarian

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the coming crisis do you rather believe in depression or hyperinflation ?
Some says that the American Administration while nationalizing parts of the economy will increase public debt to very high figures ?

Some other think that because the private debt (150% of GDP) is much higher than public debt (65% of GDP) it will be rather a depression.


7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and here i thought the entire outside world was pulling for the "o" man.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous popper said...

Do you think that the United States will finally plagiarize from the Nordic model and incorporate "labor market political activities?" Since you live in a country that has "labor market political activities," could you tell me what are "labor market political activities" (i.e. "AMS-åtgärder") since that term is extremely ambiguous? I think one positive impact of "labor market political activities" is that is would lower unemployment and would reduce the supply of labor thus raising the wages of those that do work.

12:25 AM  
Blogger stefankarlsson said...

JLS: With Bernanke as Fed chairman, hyperinflation (or at least very high inflation) is certainly a realistic possibility. This won't however prevent a depression/deep recession.

Popper: Well, Obama had programs similar to it in his economic plans, so that will likely happen.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous popper said...

Correction: it would lower "headline unemployment" not "unemployment."

I do not see what is bad about it though. So what are the programs similar to "labor market political activities" in Obama's economic plan.

9:41 PM  

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