Sunday, January 20, 2008

[Hering] Please Don't Let Him Near Public Policy

Lest you think I've stopped venting in regards to DH Editor Hasso Hering's editorials, entirely, I'm here to inform you I'm not quite done yet.

Hering on inflation:

Indexing for inflation is what government likes to do because it wants the money and has the power to collect it.

This amazes me. Again, I am confronted with the now-familiar conundrum: Is Hering simply incredibly ignorant of inflation and indexing, or does he have a problem with honesty?

Commenter JDR, with the first comment, gets right down to business:

Hasso, don't you understand the concept of "buying power"? Indexing is not an increase, it's a way for those on the lowest rung, to just stay even. Inflation is more money chasing less goods. Wages, and taxes don't buy as much as before. Another way to put it is that inflation effectively transfers wealth from those with cash to those with property. That is, from the public, and the poor to the private sector.

Inflation is caused by bad public policy, I'm sure we can agree on that, but don't try to fool us about who it's real victims are.

The last sentence of the editorial:

But raising [the fuel tax] should require a decision. It should never be an automatic step. (hh)

This is almost a persuasive argument. I might agree if there was no way to, you know, go back and see if inflation indexing is still a good idea. But seeing as how it's perfectly feasible to cancel existing legislation (and not doing so constitutes a decision), there's no compelling reason not to.


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