Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bruce Bartlett Logic

At NYT, the former Beltarian, now Keynesian, Bruce Bartlett just went off on low taxes and small government, he writes:
Low taxes and small government are not the keys to prosperity. If they were, these five countries and many others where taxes as a share of G.D.P. are in the single digits would be magnets for immigration and investment.
He had lists 5 countries that he considers low tax, small government countries. Among them, Equatorial Guinea , of which he says:
The people are poor and have little freedom.
Bartlett does not explain how it can be possible to have small government and little freedom simultaneously. Who the hell is keeping the people from being free if it isn't the government?

Another example Bartlett uses is Libya, where he quotes a Heritage study and tells us that:
...government revenues are just 3.4 percent of G.D.P.
Does Bartlett take this number seriously and also believe that Libya was small government?  It is believed 10 to 20 percent of Libyans worked in surveillance for Gaddafi's Revolutionary Committees. As far as government revenues being at 3.4% of GDP, that's only because the multi-billions in oil revenue Gaddafi skimmed  went into his pocket before it got listed as government revenue.

Bartlett's anti-tax, anti-small government attack using Equatorial Guinea, Myanamar, Chad, the Congo and Libya as examples of such is simply off the wall.

Is this what eventually happens to Beltarian minds?


  1. Myanmar? ... Myanmar? The same country ruled by a military junta has "small government"?

    Up is down, black is white, back is front

  2. "Is this what eventually happens to Beltarian minds?"

    No, what happens is they get corrupted by money and influence, and end up becoming professional liars.

  3. Bartlett is quite simply a liar. He wrote for Libertarian Review in favor of gold in 1980. He's written plenty for National Review too and even those guys know that Libya and "small government" are an absurd combination.


    He's appealing to the morons who read the NYT who respond to proposals for a Rothbardian voluntary system with comparisons to Somalia.

    "Small government" means strong property, contract and privacy rights and sound money, all strictly enforced. Bartlett knows this. He's just a lying whore.

  4. Here is the ranking


    The evidence for small government and freedom is striking. Of course all those small European and Carribbean countries with free-market policies are not part of the ranking. (Andorra, Liechtenstein, Jersey, Bermuda, etc).

  5. Somalia has no gov't and no taxes.

    Haiti has hardly any central gov't and very few taxes.

  6. Bartlett is someone in the late stages of establishment dementia. Proof, if it were ever needed, that we are governed by a ruling class every bit as addled by its ideology and privilege as the French ruling class of the 17th and 18th centuries. What was it Talleyrand said of that crowd? "They have forgotten nothing and they have learned nothing."

    Too true. Monsieur Bartlett is beyond help, as is our country, I fear.

  7. Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, San Marino, Monaco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Malta, Bermuda, Virgin Islands, Chile, Botswana, Taiwan, Switzerland, Mauritius, St Lucia, Panama.

    What do have here? Small countries, small government, very limited interference in money compared to others, decent free-market policies.
    Conclusion: We need to return to the city states and then let the people decide what they want. The number of North Korea vs South Korea and East Germany vs West Germany examples will be too many to be ignored.

    I believe the collapse of the Euro will force the issue. Let the hundreds of European countries bloom. 2012-2020.

  8. It was Libya's small government that caused the revolution. Isn't that how they always start?

    "We want someone to tell us what to do, and we will kill you to get it!"

    dumb dumb dumb

  9. "We want someone to tell us what to do, and we will kill you to get it!"

    I fear there is much to this mentality. There is a large population CONDITIONED to want government help and direction. Until they see examples in their own lives that this does not work, they will continue to demand it.

  10. What Bob Roddis said....

    Bartlett sold himself to the thieving political terrorists...He is a runt.

  11. @Silver Bully,

    You may be correct.

    I recall the story of the female government employee running around during the recent earthquake on the east coast saying she "hadn't beeen told what to do...."

    Yes, be very afraid....

  12. @ Silver Bully and Larry

    I meant that as sarcasm, but you are right, there is that mentality sometimes. I don't think that's what caused the Libyan revolt though, or the American Revolution, or the French Revolution, etc. etc. Usually happens because a government is too restrictive, not because they aren't restrictive enough... can you think of any revolution that started because the government was not bloated, unfair, and abusing its people?