But under Obama – the most innovative American president in history! – the prescriptive powers of the dismal science have been augmented with a new tool: prestidiginomics. The Bureau of Economic Analysis has but to wave its magic wand, and – Presto! – the U.S. economy becomes 3% bigger. I believe they can also pull unicorns out of their hats, but this strikes me as an act of dubious economic utility (unless, as has been rumored, unicorn urine is effective in the treatment of rickets, hemorrhoids, lupus and the West Indian dry gripes).
On a more serious note, Monty at Ace of Spades, in one of his fine “Doom!” posts, makes a point that can’t be made too often:
The most ruinous cost of the welfare state isn't the drain on the treasury, or the burdens it puts on the productive members of society. It is the rot it generates in the civic virtue of the citizenry.This is one way that tyrannies are born.