Thursday, August 30, 2007

$425,000 Per Person

Larry Kudlow, cable TV's unapologetic champion of free-market capitalism, points out that the Federal government has spent $127,000,000,000 over the last two years to rebuild New Orleans.

That works out to $425,000 per person for the 300,000 people living in the city.

That works out to almost as much as the economic output for the entire state of Louisiana for one year.

After two years with Uncle Sam's open checkbook and all the government brain power it could use on call, New Orleans is the murder capital of the world, with a murder rate 40 percent higher than before Katrina.

Kudlow says this is a shinning (or sinking?) example of what happens when bureaucrats and planners ignore markets and the individual preferences revealed thereby. The result is spotty and slow progress, massive waste, and the creation of a whole new universe of problems that must be met with even more spending and bureaucracy, if those who believe in big government aren't going to abandon their faith in social planning.

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