Al White: Keynesian
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Today’s edition of the Arizona Daily Sun contains a letter submitted by Matt Capalby praising Flagstaff Mayoral candidate (and current Flagstaff City Councilman) Al White for his record. For the most part, the letter contains the same old tired rhetoric that we don’t need any change at City Hall and that our current council is making great choices. All stuff that you would expect from a supporter of an incumbent.
Usually a letter like this would be nothing to write about but Capalby takes the argument to the next level and really grabs my attention. He says that Al White is the only Keynesian running for Mayor and then compares White to FDR and President Obama.
Having debated local progressives for years on economic theory (especially Keynesianism vs. the Austrian School) this is a subject that I feel very strongly about and something I must weigh in on.
Keynesians argue that markets cannot be trusted to work correctly. In a nutshell, Keynesianism promotes the idea that government knows what’s best and has the solutions. It teaches that government and the central bank must control and guide the private sector.
Keynesianism in practice props up failing businesses and banks (too big to fail), creates bubbles, and tramples market forces and the will of the people. It encourages corruption and lobbying and special interests looking for a monopoly.
Simply put, Keynesianism has been the cause of our economic problems. The cause of a problem is never the solution.
Capalby praises FDR and Obama for being Keynesians but he doesn’t paint the bigger picture. In 1971 Nixon proudly proclaimed that he was a Keynesian. George W. Bush, who progressives consider the cause of the current recession, was also a Keynesian (anybody remember TARP?). In fact, every president in recent history was a Keynesian!
Democrats love to blame Republicans for economic trouble and vice versa but the truth is that both parties embrace Keynesianism and both parties are at fault.
Capalby is blinded by his partisan agenda and unfortunately, progressives with no sense of history will follow his words.
I think we should take a look at a few well known examples of Al White’s “Keynesian” track record:
Auto Mall = FAILED EXPERIMENT
Horizon Airlines = FAILED EXPERIMENT
Aspen Place/ Sawmill = FAILED EXPERIMENT
As I have said before, the market knows more about what Flagstaff needs or doesn’t need than our council and mayor ever could. Keynesianism has never been and will never be the answer.