Well, he's done it again, folks. George Will has been using his head as a proctoscope.
I want you to take a look at some of Will's pronouncements in his latest article on economics. He unwittingly (how else?) and soberly says things that are cause for great hilarity, are perfect examples of irony and are in defiance of obvious economic principles. Note here that I can assess statements on economic principles with great authority because I am not an economist. Note, also, that in this article, Will didn't go to the dictionary for a few two-dollar words to sprinkle around in his fifty-cent article, just to show his erudition. He'll make up for it next time.
Will says in his article, "Moral hazard exists when a policy produces incentives for perverse behavior."
That is absolutely true. Approval of George Bush as president fulfills all qualifications for being a moral hazard and perverse behavior. A policy of pre-emptive war that causes the destruction of a sovereign nation, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, the unnecessary deaths of thousands of U.S. soldiers, several million refugees and hundreds of billions of dollars spent to no purpose is certainly perverse behavior and is undoubtedly a moral hazard.
Even though his subject is capitalism, Will shows that he has not the slightest idea of what it is by saying, "To get a mortgage is usually to commit capitalism; it is to make an investment in the hope of gain."
Getting a mortgage is exactly the opposite of what capitalism is. Capitalism: The investment of capital for the purpose of making a profit. A person getting a mortgage does so precisely because he is not a capitalist. Obviously, if he had any capital, he wouldn't need to get a mortgage. Will doesn't understand that the one granting the morgage is the capitalist, not the borrower.
Will shows his misunderstanding of what inflation is by saying,"The fact that inflation remains a worry is testimony to the fundamental soundness of the economy."
Inflation reduces the value of money. The soundness of a nation's money is the primary gauge of the soundness of it's economy. Worry about inflation is testimony to the fundamental unsoundness of the economy. This is too elementary to elaborate further.
Finally, Will says, "Happily, Chairman Ben Bernanke's Federal Reserve remains committed to minimal management, which is what government does best."
This is a reference to The Great Decider, George Bush's, government that exercised minimal management when Katrina destroyed New Orleans, a city that remains destroyed two years later. That's the best example of government's minimal management there could possibly be, and George Bush has certainly shown that he does it best, with George Will's approval.
Will's complete inability to grasp the fallacy of his conventional economic prouncements is best illustrated by the story of the group of people out walking one day when they fell into a deep hole, with no apparent means of escape. After discussing what to do, one of the people asked an economist, who happened to be among the group, if he had a solution to their problem. The economist replied, "Of course, by simply applying the basic principle of economics, we can easily solve our problem."
The questioner then asked, "OK, what do we do?" The economist replied, "First, assume a ladder."