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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10533/does-government-spending-bring-prosperity/

Does Government Spending Bring Prosperity?

August 27, 2009 by

In order to keep up the appearances of prosperity, government spending must be constantly increased, with an ever-increasing share of total production going to the nonproductive. If these constantly increased expenditures are not stopped in time, the result will be a runaway inflation like that which took place in Germany in 1923. FULL ARTICLE by Percy L. Greaves, Jr.


Criticism August 27, 2009 at 9:19 am

I find it very annoying and irritating that the Ludwig Von Mises blog CAN’T post up to date news, articles and essays.

I just hate it when I learn that the paper I read is dated 1955, 1940, 1960.

Does Mises have anything to say about what’s going on RIGHT NOW ?

I know, those articles read like they were written yesterday. It seems that in 70 years, mankind, politics and economics didn’t improve nor change.

Was was true yesterday is still true today.

But I am offended when this blog serves my outdated articles.

Isn’t there any contemporary and actual writes which share the same visions of 70 years ago.

If you must dig 70 years into the past, does this mean that today things are worse politically and economically than they were back then ?

Is there any actual economist, philosophist, writer which share the same views as those old rusty ones ?

If so, please post their views and their 2009 dated article instead.

Would you eat a loaf of bread dated 1955 ? That green stuff on it isn’t good for your health.

Unless of course the LVM institute also has a historical mandate, in that case it is true that it is interesting to see that even back then, there were englightened visionaries.

But when you must dig as far as 1955 to find an article on politics and economy, it really worries me about the present and the future.

Mike August 27, 2009 at 9:25 am

I want to post a counter to Criticism’s post. I love the old articles because it’s enlightening to see how people so long ago predicted the troubles we’re in right now. People were not all idiots pre-1970 and then suddenly walked into the light. There are a lot of wonderful insights from the past and I thank Mises.org for bringing them to light.

Stan Warford August 27, 2009 at 9:58 am

I agree with Mike that older articles are informative and helpful because they demonstrate that Austrian economic ideas have persistently been on target with their predictions. However, I wish that LvMI would put the original publication date at the _beginning_ of such articles instead of (or in addition to) putting this info in small print at the _end_ of the article. It would really help to set the context for the reader. It is annoying to discover this information only after I have read the article.

ShedPlant August 27, 2009 at 10:17 am

I agree with Stan Warford: I often check the date before reading the article and would rather the context of when it was written was clearer.

Criticism August 27, 2009 at 10:23 am

When I read those old articles, if the date is not mentioned, there is no way to tell if they were written 70 years ago or today.

It is amazing that they read like they were written yesterday. They are still actual. It’s as if history went on pause all those years.

Has politics, economics and humanity evolved in the past 70 years ?

That 1955 article is as true today as it was 54 years ago.

What has our country done in the past 54 years ? What has the world done ?

Why haven’t we improved over the last 70 years ?

2A August 27, 2009 at 10:32 am

Government spending is done for political reasons, not for economic reasons.

Also it deprives individuals of their earnings. Those individuals can no longer spend or invest that money in an efficient economic way.

Instead, the government spends that money in for electoral and political gains.

The result is poverty, not prosperity.

If you fill a hole with dirt, you had to take that dirt somewhere else. Filling a hole with subsidies means digging a hole somewhere else with taxes.

No, you can’t spend your way into prosperity.

Stephen Grossman August 27, 2009 at 1:09 pm

God-given freedom? I thought that Martians gave us our freedom. Or was it frogs? Or John Locke and America’s founders? And what about the Allied soldiers on that Normandy beach on D-Day? Its so difficult to know when all these revelations from the supernatural are crowding my mind. I think I’ll narrow my focus to the science of economics.

Anonymous August 27, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Excellent article. Very nice articulation of the ills of government spending.

One quibble: “Taxes are like insurance premiums. In fact, a good government might be called a form of life, fraud and robbery insurance.”

Greaves implies that only government can supply this “insurance”. But what makes this form of insurance different from other forms of insurance? Insurance companies can provide many of the “essential” services that governments now provide. Private defense and arbitration services provided by insurance companies would be less expensive with better quality.

Aaron R. Stewart, MBA, PhD August 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm


There is no research worth reading that does not take into consideration past articles, and the seminal work done previously. If we do not look to the past and build on what other believed to be true, we cannot advance as a society. Many of the problems society faces today are simply repeats in history, it is true history repeats itself. While technologies improve, and the world appears to “change” we humans don’t and we tend to get it wrong, over and over again. That is the unfortunate nature of things. Every greatest civilization in the history of the world has eventually failed, if nothing can be learned from history, it will occur again. You can’t fight nor ignore the historical data, no one can. If they try, they fail. Period.

Stephen Grossman August 27, 2009 at 3:47 pm

>[Anonymous]Private defense and arbitration services

And when my private defense and arbitration service and yours have a conflict, will we call the Mafia as neutral referree? Whim-worshipping anarchic nihilism is not a basis for individual rights.

BioTube August 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Grossman, war is EXPENSIVE: people will naturally seek the lowest rate for a given quality of service, which will be offered by those corporations that only use force in selfdefence.

HayeksHeroes August 28, 2009 at 12:17 am

Let’s just say we were able to limit government spending to only the essentials of providing security and a justice system. The tax rate fell to 10%. How much of a person’s income should be freely given to charity? Any amount given to a charity, a non wealth producing entity, we are not maximizing our prosperity. In essence, should not that be our goal, to maximize our prosperity?

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