Economic issues

The argument for fiscal conservativism

In modern times, debt crises’ grappling Western countries have risen to become forefront political issues.

Given this environment, I will outline my case as to why lesser government spending is generally the appropriate course of action.

In our increasingly diverse countries, all rational individuals remain united by a shared driving factor: self interest.

Fundamentally, all people pursue paths and actions that aim to further their own self- interest. Whether they become Buddhist monks or Bondi billionaires, acting in self interest remains the underpinning motivator for people in our individual- orientated societies.

Moreover, it is this self- interest that ensures the financial decisions people make are aimed at preserving rather than wasting their wealth. As naturally, when people’s livelihoods are tied to the intelligent use of their own money, that money is spent more effectively.

However, the financial motivations of ordinary individuals and those in government, greatly differ.

Whereas real people suffer if they make poor financial decisions, politicians bear minimal consequences.

Yes, if politicians are financially wasteful this could contribute to their chances of being voted out of office. But modern politicians often receive handsome pensions and benefits after leaving office, meaning financial responsibility is less important.

Put simply, the consequences of wasting one’s personal wealth, and that of politicians wasting the national wealth, pale in comparison.

And herein lies the problem with governments who endlessly spend: reckless financial waste inevitably ensues.

Where possible, capital should be kept in the hands of individuals, so that these people spend resources more effectively. Such money can be placed usefully into areas of jobs and employment, rather than in wasteful top- down government projects.

This is not to state that all government spending is misplaced and wrong. Government spending certainly has an important role to play in safeguarding the basic functions of society.

Regardless, fiscally conservative policies should be taken where possible, to avoid litanies of financial and human waste. While individuals working in the private sector are innately wired to be frugal and efficient with their resources, politicians face no such threat, and thus fiscal policies should be adopted from this viewpoint.

2 thoughts on “The argument for fiscal conservativism

  1. Right on. The problem with government is when it enters a boondoggle and fails the profit/loss test it spends more of our money on its failed adventure. In the real world you either profit (the project is worthwhile,) or go bankrupt (the markets way of clearing the dead wood).

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