by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
How on earth does one get the point across? In physics, we talk about conservation of energy. Energy is neither created nor destroyed, only transferred. Granted, pseudoscientific cranks have from time immemorial claimed to find perpetual motion machines, but they’re all bunk. Tenured professors remain relevant by making up weird cosmologies hypothesizing the generation of something from nothing, but that is also bunk. The other point about energy transfer is that there are losses in any exchange; e.g., friction, dissipation of heat, etc.
In government, we talk about money. If money is printed, it is cheapened by supply-and-demand dynamics. If we assume a constant supply, we can transfer it, but with losses; e.g., taxes and fees for middlemen. Government officials, duped by their campaign-contributing corporate cronies, claim money can grow and multiply, but these schemes are bunk. Professors of economics can give government optimistic numbers; there is less tension when scientists select stats to support foregone conclusions. The other point about wealth transfer is that there are losses in any exchange; e.g., payment of salaries for economic development directors and administrative and PR staff, subsidies for junkets to entertain cronies interested in moving to the area, etc.
In short, if you want a sagging economy, sit around a table and vision schemes about redistribution. If you want to help the economy, create something of value.