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Tad DeHaven / Clear, concise arguments and answers from leading thinkers / Eristical.com
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Tad DeHaven

These days, the US government does much more infringing upon our rights than protecting them. Chiefly among them is property rights. If a citizen is secure in their ability to freely conduct trade, or commerce, it decreases the risk of and increases the willingness to, put up one's own money or to borrow or to invest. Private investment suffers when there's a concern about what Washington is going to do with regard to legislation, from health care mandates to increasing taxes which, to me are all infringements upon the ability of investors, entrepreneurs and individuals to conduct commerce.

Writer and Cato Institute Budget Analyst, Tad DeHaven

Tad DeHaven

Anything that artificially raises the cost of hiring somebody helps foster unemployment, particularly amongst those with the least amount of skill, the more expendable. That's just Economics 101. If you raise the cost of labor , you've raised the cost of doing business, so businesses are going to hire fewer employees. Let's say you have a business which would be willing to hire an additional person at $6 per hour and there's somebody out there who's unemployed who would be happy to have that $6, because of the price control, that guy isn't getting a job and that job is not being offered. People are going to hire less and when they do hire they're going to take the best they can take for the money. They'll look at education, experience and things of that nature, and that tends to hurt the less educated, minorities, young folks.

Writer and Cato Institute Budget Analyst, Tad DeHaven

Tad DeHaven

The problem with government is that anything it does necessarily comes at a cost. There's no such thing as a free lunch. The government can do nothing positive without also simultaneously doing something negative. Let's say that a factory was given a $500,000 grant which saved 500 jobs, that's what's seen, but what isn't so readily seen is what could have been created or what was lost in the private sector because the federal government borrowed or taxed that money out of the economy to create those jobs. The fundamental question is, "Who or what is better at fostering economic growth or job creation?" - the federal government and Joe Biden or the market and individuals making decisions on the basis of their own self interest? And I would side with the latter.

Writer and Cato Institute Budget Analyst, Tad DeHaven

Tad DeHaven

In the private sector, an increasingly small one. The issue of unions is really important in the public sector because I think private sector unionism is at an all-time low in the United States, but public sector unionism continues to rise. It artificially increases the cost of labor for governments which means tax payers. For example, a Stanford University found that California's unfunded pension liability is about $500 million (about 6 times their annual budget). They're already inherently parasitic in that a government employee can't exist without the tax payer who is the host. That's not a value judgment in saying that they don't produce anything of value, there's simply a cost associated with a government employee that's different than their private sector counterpart.

Writer and Cato Institute Budget Analyst, Tad DeHaven

Tad DeHaven

I'm a budget guy so I put the spending before the taxes and if the federal government were a size that it should be, in my mind, we wouldn't even be discussing which kind of tax system we would need because it could probably be conducted on user fees alone. But that's not the country we live in and if I had to pick, I'd favor taxing consumption rather than the income tax which penalizes savings and investment. It's inevitable, though, that they would all end up looking like the mess we have now because politicians like to use the tax code to spend money and to engineer certain outcomes. At the end of the day it's more important to reduce the size of government at which point how you tax becomes increasingly less important. If the money's there, they're going to spend it.

Writer and Cato Institute Budget Analyst, Tad DeHaven

Tad DeHaven

Economics is more sociology, psychology and philosophy and less math to me. It's the study of human nature and human action. There is often a disconnect between intentions behind policies and their outcomes. The author of "Freakonomics" used the example of wearing football helmets which intuitively means that your head is going to be safer, but actually the helmets give players an artificial sense of comfort and the result is that they take risks and actions which they otherwise wouldn't have taken and end up having more concussions. Now that's counter-intuitive to most people and I think people have a knee-jerk aversion to attaching a profit motive to issues they consider to be very personal or emotional, but economics requires sitting down and thinking rationally about things.

Writer and Cato Institute Budget Analyst, Tad DeHaven