Just Throwing $Billions at It Won’t Help . . . Or Maybe It Will

2017-06-05 – A common critique of liberal policies is that “just throwing billions of dollars at a problem doesn’t mean it will help.” This is true in a way, but it assumes that government officials are stupid or corrupt—which is the point, I suppose.

We like stories of people who came into great wealth and wasted it. Ben Carson recently told a story of a poor person who hit the lottery and frittered it away because they didn’t have the right state of mind. Folks supporting Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord (if they cop to climate change at all) are saying you can’t just throw money at the problem (even though that’s far from what the accord is about).

But let me tell you. You could throw money at me and it would help a lot.

Not everyone fritters away wealth. I would set up a guaranteed fund to assure my well-being and the well-being of my family. It actually wouldn’t take much in the scheme of things. I don’t care about gold toilets. I just want them to flush. The rest would be devoted to charity and art projects.

Sometimes a billion helps and sometimes it doesn’t. I suppose.

Billions are helping Bill Gates and Warren Buffet eradicate diseases in Africa (and many more things). Billions helped Donald Trump get elected President of the United States.

So money does have power to cause change. It’s not really the question of money. It’s who you want to have it.

None of the folks who say that “just throwing billions of dollars at a problem doesn’t mean it will help” would turn away the money if it was thrown at them. In fact, getting the money thrown their way is one of their main concerns in life.

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