Vantage point

Monday, October 13, 2008

OK Chetan, I'll Bite

Chetan has baited and I will bite. And he is not the first one. Over the last couple of weeks, I have gotten several mails and comments repeating ad nauseum a quip by the newly ennobled Paul Krugman - there are no atheists in foxholes and no libertarians in a recession.

It is nice to be viewed as a spokesman for libertarianism. Sadly, I have been busy with other things, so my blogging frequency has gone down. Forget bail-outs, recessions and stimuli. When was the last time you remember this blog being silent before and even after an India-Australia test match. But Chetan has tempted me to make what will be an admittedly rushed post.

I am opposed to the bailout and even the so-called "stimulus package" that is next on the Democrats' to-do list. The bail-out is just postponing the inevitable, and the unintended consequences of throwing so much taxpayer money at the problem could be disastrous. Mad inflation, and a possible crisis down the line with US T-bills even.

There are real consequences for the way people conduct business too. What the bailout is doing is ensuring that profits from private enterprise remain private, but losses will be socialized. This will set up a precedent and actually make future executives even more reckless. Because no matter how badly they screw up, Uncle Sam is always going to bail them out.

P.S. Chetan, yes I have put on some weight recently. But I still refuse to accept the name 'prachanda' :-P