Monday, March 9, 2009

Moral Hazard, Hazardous Morals


Literally within days of the stimulus bill passing, there were ecstatic-sounding TV ads — fairly expensive-looking ones — offering viewers no-credit-check mortgages using new funds just made available by the government.  That should give you some idea why we libertarians and conservatives worry about the moral hazard effects of telling everyone they’ll get off scot-free simply by laundering all our money through the tax-and-spend machine of government.

I think that most fiscal conservatives, even the most tough-talking, feared looking rude over the past three decades while counseling personal responsibility and a stiff upper lip in the face of hardship.  The time for fear of embarrassment has long since past.  If you can’t pay your bills, stop dragging down the rest of society with you, you villainous parasite.  And if, far worse, you’re an intellectual who condones or encourages — perhaps even rhapsodizes — such behavior (and ought to be smart enough to know better), shame on you for wrecking a potentially-sound economy and a once moral people.

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