Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: Not An Economic Genius

Sarah Palin , John McCain's new vice-presidential running mate, will fit right in with McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, given her total lack of understanding of basic economics.

There's not a lot out there on the internet about Palin (Most likely because she hasn't done much.) But she can be tracked the way a bear in Alaska can be tracked. Alaskan bears dump enough dung, as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game puts it, that you can tell what type bear lies ahead by examining the dung they leave in their tracks.

The Alaska Fish and Game says:
Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear dung.

Black bear dung is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear dung has little bells in it and smells like pepper.

Palin's dung may not be left behind in quantities that would make a grizzly proud, but, never the less, a search of her record reveals some dung that doesn't appear to be as pretty as the black bears' with berries or the grizzlies' with bells---but it sure does stink.

In a move that would make Obama proud, but which makes no economic sense, Palin proposed giving Alaskans $100-a-month energy debit cards. Of course, basic economics teaches the last thing you want to do, when a commodity is rising in price, is to encourage consumption. She also proposed providing grants to electrical utilities so that they would reduce customers' rates, again the last thing you want to do. She subsequently dropped the debit card proposal, and in its place she proposed to send Alaskans $1,200 directly.

The debit card proposal may be just one clue that we may have a very big spender on our hands. Clue #2: As governor, in June 2007, Palin signed into law a $6.6 billion operating budget—the largest in Alaska's history.

Clue#3: In a real nutty escapade, when the Alaska Creamery Board recommended closing Matanuska Maid Dairy, an unprofitable state-owned business, Palin objected, citing concern for the impact on dairy farmers and the fact that the dairy had just received $600,000 in state money. When Palin realized that the Board of Agriculture and Conservation appoints Creamery Board members, she simply replaced the entire membership of the Board of Agriculture and Conservation The new board reversed the decision to close the dairy. The new board approved milk price increases offered by the dairy in an attempt to control losses, even though milk from Washington was already offered in Alaskan stores at lower prices. In the end, the dairy was forced to close.

On a more positive note, Palin strongly supports drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

In a move that would make Chcago poltcans proud, Palin is currently under investigation by an independent investigator hired by a legislative panel to determine if she abused her power when firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. On July 11, 2008, Palin dismissed Walter Monegan as Commissioner of Public Safety and instead offered him a position as executive director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which he subsequently turned down. Monegan alleged shortly after his dismissal that it may have been partly due to his reluctance to fire an Alaska State Trooper, Mike Wooten, who had been involved in a divorce and child custody battle with Palin's sister, Molly McCann.

A governor for just 20 months, prior to that she was two-term mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town with a population of 6,500.

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