See-Get: Choom Gang Economic Theory
When I read the other day that food stamps are being used to buy pop tarts, cookies, honey buns, candy bars, corn dogs, taffy, and cheesecake, it finally clicked: liberal economic and social policies reward stoners.
In honor of the president's old gang, let's call this new Chicago school of economic and social policy Choom Gang Economic Theory ("CGET" or the more descriptive "See-Get Economics," particularly given the theory's heavy reliance on entitlement and notable lack of emphasis on work).
CGET's apparent goal is to extend adolescence indefinitely, and then mire it in vice. This will have devastating effects on American youth and the economy, but it completes the link between Summer of Love irresponsibility and modern liberal economic theory.
Consider the following Obama/Democrat Party initiatives and achievements:
- Ninety-nine weeks of unemployment insurance now provide a cushion, not a safety net.
- A waiver of the work requirements for both cash welfare and food stamps, which waiver further removes the incentive to work.
- Forty-six point seven million Americans, more than the populations of Canada, Poland, Spain, or Australia, are now on food stamps. As mentioned, food stamps are great for the munchies.
- ObamaCare's slacker mandate requires that parent insurance policies cover health care for extended adolescents up to 26 years of age.
- With the need to work eliminated, food provided, and insurance covered, one certainly can't be expected to pay birth control. No worries: ObamaCare provides contraception free of charge. There is admittedly a low likelihood that a stoner living in Mom's basement will need this giveaway, but the dazed beneficiary appreciates it nonetheless (just in case).
- And finally, there is a growing Democrat movement to legalize marijuana across the land.
As mentioned, CGET is a new Chicago school. The old Chicago school of economics emerged from one of the world's foremost academic departments and was led by the most important economic scholars of the twentieth century, including George Stigler, Milton Friedman, Richard Posner, Eugene Fama, and Friedrich Hayek.
The old school focused on the efficiency of free markets, monopolies resulting from government interference, rejection of fiscal policy as a demand-side tool, and the money supply. Friedman, Posner, and the others were ardent free-marketers, passionate deregulationists, and deeply concerned with the importance of work and resource efficiency:
We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.
[The central] meaning of justice, perhaps the most common is - efficiency ... [because] in a world of scarce resources waste should be regarded as immoral.i
To the contrary, CGET has made waste its signature characteristic -- waste of both economic resources and human dignity. Consider that our unemployment surged after the February 2009 Obama stimulus, then returned to its very same February 2009 levels -- in other words, the non-stimulus was an $800-billion waste. Likewise, after the president dove into the offshore energy business, 19,000 jobs were eliminated and $1.9 billion of economic damage inflicted. As well, his involvement in the renewable energy sector was a spectacular bust, resulting in a waste of $90 billion.
CGET is led by president and former pot smoker Barack Obama, a former economist-turned-pop editorialist, and a bevy of opinionated but unqualified Democrat party leaders and sixties retreads. As the above bullet points indicate, key tenets of CGET include the abandonment of fortitude, temperance, and hard work. CGET inspires neither industry nor virtue, and it vastly underestimates the potential of young Americans.
Reflective of their dim view of our youth and in keeping with Harold & Kumar, Beavis & Butt-Head, and other lowbrow stoner favorites, CGET's proponents crafted a simplistic cartoon to lure youth into cradle-to-grave dependence. The Obama-produced "Life of Julia" is depressing. David Harsanyi voiced serious concerns with CGET's model woman:
What we are left with is a celebration of ... how a woman can live her entire life by leaning on government intervention, dependency and other people's money rather than her own initiative or hard work. It is, I'd say, implicitly un-American, in the sense that it celebrates a mindset we have--outwardly, at least--shunned.
James Taranto also astutely pointed out that CGET's Julia is probably very lonely:
The most shocking bit of the Obama story is that Julia apparently never marries. She simply "decides" to have a baby, and Obama uses other people's money to help her take care of it.
In 1999 Lionel Tiger coined the word "bureaugamy" to refer to the relationship between officially impoverished mothers of illegitimate children and the government. "The Life of Julia" is an insidious attack on the institution of the family, an endorsement of bureaugamy even for middle-class women.
Pity the poor girl's parents -- Julia grew up an angry feminist on the dole, but they had hoped for so much more.
Since CGET has taken hold, we see strong evidence of sloth, substance abuse, and immodesty -- in short, unhappiness. The teen unemployment rate now tops 20%, median weeks unemployed are higher than under any other president, teen alcohol and drug use are at epidemic levels, 41% of nationwide births are to unmarried women, and teen sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise.
Fast Times' unemployed pot-smoking surfer dude, Jeff Spicoli, would have jumped at CGET's madness -- and, if you are not vigilant, so may your son or daughter.
Obviously, loving and caring parents would never present their adolescents with this litany of temptation -- no need to work, food's on me, insurance and contraception covered, oh and maybe some legal weed -- yet the president and his allies are pushing just such an agenda.
Any parent who aims to keep his or her child away from an indolent, ungrateful, and unhappy life of entitlement does not need CGET's kind of help. Regarding adolescent substance abuse:
[H]ealth experts say that part of the reason for the upward trends has to do with the mixed messages that both parents and society send to adolescents about drug use.
When done underscoring the virtues of personal responsibility and clean living, the last thing a parent needs to hear is "But the president's okay with it."
CGET is dumb, and the fact that this president embraces it confirms recent findings that teen pot use contributes to the breakdown of intelligence later in life. It is unjust, imprudent, and callous to increase the temptations our children already face. In another liberal race to the bottom, CGET further lowers the bar.
Finally, in a postscript from the Lest-Ye-Doubt-Me Department, as this article was coming together Breitbart ran the following headline: "Choom Gang: Obama Web Ad Recruits 'Harold and Kumar' Stars." Consider:
The ad depicts Obama calling actor Kal Penn, sitting next to John Cho, his co-star from the cannabis-centric comedy trilogy. While the ad does not explicitly depict the two as high, they are sitting on a couch, eating junk food, and watching cartoons -- a subtle nod to "pothead" stereotypes.
In his shout-out to stoners and dead beats everywhere, the president just confirmed the existence and active implementation of CGET. Bad idea, dude.
iRichard Posner, Economic Analysis of Law (1998) p.30