Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What Is Wrong With A Downton Abbey Economy?

     Lawrence Summers, former economic advisor to President Obama, recently stated that the U.S. is in danger of having a Downton Abbey economy. The popular PBS series tells the story of those who inhabit an English manor house at the turn of the twentieth century. Mr. Summers' comment is typical of the Left who hate wealth, unless it is their own, gained from the well of taxpayer dollars into which they freely and frequently dip their greedy little buckets. The fictional family who own Downton Abbey provide jobs to underclass Englishmen, as well as a better life than they would otherwise have. The family's wealth also supports the local economy with the many purchases necessary to keep the manor operating.
     All these facts are wasted on Leftists who believe that there is no legitimacy to wealth outside government's confiscation of it. Mr. Summers and his fellow Keynesians labor under the ridiculous formula that one equals two simply by virtue of having been touched by the heavy hand of government. Even though John Maynard Keynes' economic voodoo has been thoroughly discredited by history over the last 80 years, there are still those like Mr. Summers and his former boss, Barack Obama, that believe it can be used to stimulate a downtrodden economy.
     The basics of Keynesian economics is this: A man has $10,000 in the bank. Someone takes his money out of the bank and takes a cut for "administrative services." They return what is left, much less than the original amount, and tell the man he is wealther than before. This is the basis of the Left's government economic advocacy theory that has never worked, yet they still insist on its implementation. The reason is not because they do not know its inherent failure, but because success is not the goal, expanding the role and size of government is.
     The life "in service", as the English called domestic servants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as depicted in Downton Abbey, was a hard one to be sure. But working on a country estate, being well-fed and provided with medical attention when needed, was a better life than many servants' contemporaries, both in Great Britain and the United States. Many of them lived in squalid conditions in over-crowded cities with little food and no medical access. The structure in English manor houses allowed for the lowest of scullery maids to work her way up to housekeeper, and for the lowly hall boy to one day advance to the position of butler. The wages one could achieve in a manor house as a servant were very handsome indeed.
     Mr. Summers' comment is illustrative of the Lefts deliberate ignorance of the expansionism of free market principles over the economic contraction provided by government interference. The economy of Downton Abbey provided not only jobs and opportunities to the servants who worked there, but the money they spent in the broader economy created opportunity for those in the surrounding area. Of course, opportunity as an outcome of hard work, sans the heavy hand of government, is something that is kryptonite to Leftists who see it as vice and government dependence as a virtue.

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