Tuesday, December 28

Government subsidies distort (i.e. screw up)...everything.

Economists have known for decades that if you subsidize an activity (i.e. reward it) you get more of it, while if you penalize an activity--and taxation is a form of economic penalty--you get less of it.

You'd think by now everyone on the planet would have a firm grasp on this concept.

It's frustrating that politicians are either unaware of this, or actually want (or are willing to tolerate) perverse results caused by subsidizing things that most people think are...well, stupid.

Example: Like most gubments, Spain's embraced the whole "globull warmening" thing, and their first big supposed fix was to announce that they'd pay anyone who produced electricity from solar or wind source a big premium over the regular going rate.

Care to guess what happened next? Yep, a whole menagerie of con artists--and probably a few well-intentioned but technically naive folks--got into that bidness. And inevitably, a few of them got too greedy: One such producer of ostensibly "solar" electricity was so determined to maximize his take that he began running diesel generators at night to sell more supposedly "solar" electricity!

Can't say I'm surprised. Are you?

But obviously that's Spain, fer cryin' out loud. And I understand Spain is a furrin' country, so they probably do things differently there.

Maybe. Here in the U.S. we find that the average annual salary of stagehands at the Kennedy Center is something like $260,000! Wow! And that's an average.

Long story short: It's Kennedy Center, which is gubmint owned, so no one gives a crap about costs. Second: Unions jumped on that like a duck on a junebug, knowing they could jack wages to the sky and no one would complain.

So, the lesson? Taxpayers have subsidized barely-skilled positions at a gubmint entity, resulting in a) huge wage premiums; and b) lots of jake-legs deciding they wanna get their snout into the gubmint-employees-union pot.

Who could have guessed? Oh, wait...

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