Saturday, October 29, 2011

Four Policy Mistakes

Greg Mankiw, here, outlines four countries that we do NOT want to emulate.  More specifically, we want to avoid their policy mistakes.  Some might argue that France is lovely, and the people of Japan are noble, but that does not mean their governments do not make some silly decisions.

21 comments:

Kelsey Chandler said...

I thought the article by Greg Mankiw was interesting. I've always thought it would be great to live in France and be expected to work less than the typical American. After reading this article, I can understand why they do not work as much. I wouldn't want to work either if almost 50% of my income was going towards taxes. I think that this "federal experiment" would be a bad idea. Sharing the peoples wealth with the government that much would decrease work ethic, which would probably raise unemployment. More people would sit at home and collect government benefits for not making enough money, less people would work hard for their living.
Kelsey Chandler

Eng Hong Sin said...

I am from Malaysia. Few years ago, the exchange rate of Malaysia Ringgit to US dollar is 3.80 but right now, it is only 3.01. It has declined more than 20% in 10 years. I can see the US economy from the exchange rate. As an international student, of course I hope US economy keep going down. But, think of the future, I still hope US economy will be better. The US government should do more improvement on their policies and try not to repeat the mistake that made by other countries.

Anonymous said...

Governments should learn from the results from past government faults. Other countries that have more relaxation instead of workaholics. Seeing that the government from these countries is taking a lot of tax out of their income the people of that country are not going to want to work. The U. S. should not use the example from these countries as an example since we will not want to work either if half of our income is going to the government. People will stop working and havethe government take care of them. This will not work for long since no one will want to work and the government will start to decline.

Torie Fuller

Danielle Verdin said...

No one is perfect, not even the government. People are going to make crazy decisions based on what they think is right or the way that things should be or heck even how things have been forever. Kelsey Chandler is right French people don’t work as often or even as long (workday) as we do here in the states. If the government was somewhat smart they would try to improve based on the past failures.

Keith kaczocha said...

We like to say that our government should learn from others mistakes but we continue making our own over and over.i think there is a lot to learn from other countries but then again we are a lot different than many of those other countries, we should quit spending so much and cut some areas of spending. I don't think raising people's taxes is a solution either it's just going to make more not work or not be able to spend what they have.

Erick Holzhausen said...

Life styles are very different around the world, obviously. I wouldn't say the US government is looking to model parts of our government from another countries, but it sure helps to have examples or other ideas in front of you when trying to make a decision about something. Obviously, life styles vary drastically around the world. High taxes aren't the only cause of the French working less, but because the extra income that we need to make for health insurance, social security, and other programs like that are covered by their government. They pay really high taxes because it covers their health insurance, cost of further education (college) and other programs like that. I think our country can learn from other countries ideas of how to run a government, but at the same time that can only go so far because I feel we are still fairly more blessed than most of the other countries out there.

Mary Beth Renz said...

Our economy is struggling right now. It’s interesting because I was just watching a show about when Coldwater ran for presidency. The issues seem to be reoccurring from then and now. Our government hasn’t changed a whole lot. Governments should learn from the failures of other governments; however I don’t know how much our government has learned from these failures. I do think we have come a long way and are lucky to live in a country like ours despite failures. I do agree that if we don’t figure out something soon we will have no other choice but to raise the taxes close to the European levels, but I hope we figure out something soon. Hopefully our next president will have some good ideas to help our economy.

Mary Beth Renz said...

I meant Goldwater oops.

amy feng said...

I agree with Torie in that our government should look at past failures of other countries and not mimic them at all. We also should look at the US past failures and realize that trying something that fails over and over again is empirically proving that it just isn’t going to work. Taking out half of your income for taxes isn’t very much incentive for anyone to want to work as much as we do in the states. It also depends on each country to decide on what policy can be applied because one policy doesn’t fit all. Like Eric said, certain things are covered by the French government—such as health insurance—whereas Americans pay for their own through out of pocket or a tiny percentage of taxes.

Shirley Paris said...

Our government is not a perfect government but i would like to think they know what they are doing. I do not think the United States will end up like those other four countries, but everyone makes mistakes.

C'Anne Reichert said...

Our government should learn from the other countries' mistakes. Unless we scale back on our spending, or figure out a way to pay down our debt, our taxes are going to go up. I don't think the French are lazy and want to work less than Americans by choice, but instead have no incentive to work more because the more they make the more the government takes. I think the U.S. will face this same situation if we don't figure out how to solve our financial problems because many of us will realize that we are working more for the man than for ourselves.. Which will make many of us decide that more leisure time is necessary to maximize our utility.

Anonymous said...

It was interesting to me how certain politicians were worried about America following in the same footsteps as "the worst economy", when we are the best there is to offer in my opinion. I don't think things could that bad, that quickly for us but I do think that if we do not learn to control our spending habits all this will come down on us pretty hard.
-Kristin King

Andrew Schadegg said...

I have been to France and it is odd to see around 3 o'clock in the afternoon every single brasserie is packed. I also don't agree with the whole evaluation of France. Ninety percent of the people live in Paris, plus I'm sure that article is targeting most of the Parisians whom work less also. France should be single out apart from Paris when talking about economics or any social concern. Paris is very different from France. Most of France outside of Paris is farm villages with yes very little economy, but the work ethic and general attitude is like night and day. Paris is snobby and ritzy yet still beautiful, but there are many jobs that pay well. I have heard local French people complain about there own government and economy, but their complaints were focused on the Parisians.

Lauri Hess said...

The US economy is struggling. We should learn from past mistakes of other countries and start thinking outside the box and come up with new ideas.

Vickie Snell said...

I also like Mankiw's article. We have four examples of why we need to stop spending. I agree with Mankiw that we need to reduce spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and especially Obamacare.

Chris Yang said...

Like everyone else is saying, our government should learn from the mistakes the other countries have made. We should be focusing on our own economy. Raising taxes would not be a good idea either because it just makes people not want to work cause there isn't much benefits or income. It makes them feel like it all benefits the government more than the worker.

Nikki said...

Our government should not only try to identify the causes of failures in those other stated governments, but should look to countries who are somewhat profitable. We should avoid the failures and emulate the successes. However, no one plan could be implemented 100% and work for us. I know it's hard for them to sit back and wait just a little longer to implement something, with the goal being more perfect policies, but maybe more time should be spend looking at a larger portion of possible outcomes before jumping on to one bandwagon.

Una Kim said...

I agree with Kelsey. I think that sharing too much wealth with the government would decrease work ethic. Instead of paying for welfare and unemployment, what if we just made the people on welfare work through our government that way we know our money is going somewhere legit. Not paying $45 million of our tax money to pay for unnecessary things like the botanical gardens and such...

Andrew S. said...

Historians have always told us that ifwe dont learn from our past mistakes we are doomed to repeat them. That replies to the world as a whole and also to your government, if we don't we will fail and fall.

Austin McNatt said...

Mr. Mankiw's article is very interesting. I think our government should not only learn from the mistakes of these four countries, but also mistakes make by every other country. Because at one point or another every country has made a mistake. We should be aware of those mistakes and learn to find the best solutions. I believe we should vote back "Line Veto" to cut out all the unwanted pork barrel spending.

Ryan Schick said...

It is kind of like that your thought on redistributing income. There would be no incentive for people to work the long hours if they are going to get half of it taken away. I guess they could do it if they want to see the unemployment rate to sky rocket.