Monday, March 14, 2011

We spend TOO LITTLE, 1: Wake up and smell the coffee. (Publicus Proventus)

All I hear, every day when I listen to the news, is that we're broke. There's no more money to go around, people say, so we have to cut spending.

As I've pointed out before, cutting spending is NOT a long-term solution. While it's never a bad idea to save money, saving money can only go on for so long before you have to spend... and then spend more.

But, people say, there's no money out there... we're broke. But that's a lie; it's wrong and a lie, pure and simple. There's money out there. You just don't want to spend it.

I've pointed out before that America has more money than it could possibly use, including spending $396,000,000 filming TV shows nobody will watch. But it bears repeating, so in what will be an ongoing feature of a feature, We Spend Too Little will help point out the ridiculous, selfish, stupid choices we as a society make -- and point out that there's plenty of money to go around, if we want to use it.

Today's point is this: We spend too little, because we're going to cut out the "earned income credit" in Wisconsin, when there's plenty of money to pay that. The "earned income credit" is -- there's no way around this -- welfare. But it's welfare that helps employers, too: this "tax credit" is money the government just takes and gives to poor people who have a job -- which lets them work for lower wages while still earning enough to feed their kids. (It only applies to people with kids.)

Gov. Patsy is going to reduce that earned income credit in Wisconsin by $16 million per year. Never mind that Patsy hypocritically said that reducing the EIC will allow other taxpayers to give more money to the poor -- that's a sham reason and the habitual liar Gov. Patsy knows it -- and consider instead that the credit will take anywhere from $50 to $100 out of the pockets of the poor in Wisconsin, and give it to the rich and better-off, who no doubt will use it, but need it less.

What will they use it for, you ask? Perhaps to buy single-serve coffees. America is nuts over single-serve gourmet coffees and their dispensers: we can't be bothered with making a whole pot of coffee, or measuring out enough to make one cup. No, we have to have a specific dispenser that will specifically make one specific cup of coffee.

And how much do we spend annually on our single-serve fixation? $500 million, by one estimate, or up to $2,000,000,000 by another estimate.

Two billion dollars, voluntarily spent on single-serve coffees. But we can't spare $16 million to help employers keep poor mothers and fathers working for them?


Rogue Mutt said...

Our new office has one of those Keurig single-serve things. It's OK, but kind of restrictive because you have to use their "K-cup" flavors unless you bring your own in and even then there isn't that much selection.

Incidentally I think I spent $20 on a single-serve coffee maker last year. But I'm single and never have anyone over, so what would I need more than that for?

Frank Holloway said...

I do agree that there's plenty of money out there. But the national debt keeps rising and rising because it's being wasted in the wrong areas. If money was used correctly then we would be in a far better situation, both as a nation and on a household level. Spending can be good but wastage is never good.