Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bernanke to testify before Democratic committees for the first time

And this article makes the point that the Federal Reserve Chairman and the Democrats grilling him might not be on the same wavelength...

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- When Ben S. Bernanke testifies before Congress's new Democratic majorities this week, it may be hard to tell that he and his questioners are talking about the same economy.

The Federal Reserve chairman will use his semiannual appearances before House and Senate banking panels to describe a healthy economy and a strong job market. Democrats such as Representative Paul Hodes of New Hampshire will paint a much different picture -- of stagnant incomes and jobs lost to foreign competition.

"Part of the reason I was elected and many of my colleagues were elected was because of the deep concerns that folks have about the economy," says Hodes, president of the freshman House Democrats and a member of the Financial Services Committee that will hear from Bernanke Feb. 15.

And Rep. Hodes wasn't alone. Joining his "concerns" is the opinion that the economy's "not so good" from Senator Brown and that people are "checking the help-wanted ads" not the latest stock prices according to Rep. Wilson. That's some brilliant economic analysis all around right there. Random, pointless concerns, a general not-so-good by someone who probably doesn't understand how supply and demand works, and anecdotal unemployment stories probably put forth by lobbyist unions, rather than reality.

I'll be the first to say unemployment sucks. I was unemployed for a couple months a few years back; I quit a dead end job that cost me more in gas and mileage than I made. How did I re-employ myself again? I went to a temp agency, and yes, my college education paid off. I worked hard at that company and they hired me full time. Even gave me a raise, thanks to a college education. I worked so hard that when I said I was moving and going to have to quit, they found me a job close to my new house. All that was me, my hard work, a grateful and generous employer, and a bit of luck. The government had nothing to do with it.

And that's how it should be. While certain sectors of the economy aren't performing as well as those that are carrying the GDP, the government shouldn't be creating jobs for steel workers in Ohio, miners in West Virginia, or computer programmers in California. I mean, really, the government does too much as it is.

Honestly, the free market, capitalist system maintains itself pretty well on its own. Government officials just need to stay out of its way. It's a whole lot easier for bureaucrats to muck it up that fix it once they've broken it.

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