Wanna make some money?

Maybe invest with these guys (article via FotG, Dancin’ David Frum), who claim that in the 11,000 or so trading days since 1965, the market has risen fifty times higher on days when Congress is not in session.

While that’s both funny and clever (and if true, a possible money-maker), its plausibility lies in the fact that stability and foreseeability is crucial to economic planning (e.g., if the price of milk was fluctuating daily between 50¢ and $10, would you be able to estimate your next month’s grocery list?). Your Volgi has long said that, however bad the tax code, economic distortions caused by red tape, etc., an easy way to create an economic rally would be to simply freeze all legislation for say, five years. Sure, subsidies and the like would still prop up whorish industries like ethanol and sugar (hardly an exhaustive list, just two that came to mind), and others would be stunted, like nuclear energy, buuuut the fact that individuals, large corporations, and particularly small businesses could know and plan with certainty on what the tax and regulatory environment would be a dozen or two quarters out would make a huge difference in productivity and the accurate direction of resources.

It’s not a panacea, but it’s not trivial either. One of the reasons Hong Kong boomed under the genius government of John Cowperthwaite was that, not having any accountability to the people (and therefore in no need to answer the natural human question, as Melanie Hutsell’s character put it so memorably to Phil Hartman’s Candidate Clinton, “Where’s my stuff?”), it had the luxury of simply staying out of the way—an option apparently politically impossible for any president since Coolidge.

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