Which do you prefer: Carrot Economics, or Stick Economics? The definitions (mine) are below, and comments are open. As I’ve said before, more often than not, I prefer the party of Carrot Economics (but not always).
[Note: A friend saw these two definitions at the bottom of a previous post of mine, and suggested I publish them front and center in their own post, open for comments. He said it should attract some fun replies. I responded that it would probably also attract some cranks, judging from what I see at other blogs that focus on political issues ... but what the heck, here goes. Although I usually don’t have time to babysit commenters, I will definitely make time on this one to delete garbage and ban anyone who acts like a jerk.]
1. Carrot Economics:
"Growth is good." Encourage innovation, and allow rewards to be reaped by anyone who can make better quality of life more affordable to the masses. Expect median income to grow as a result, and expect some to get rich in the process. Have faith in the future. Trust in the competitive marketplace of ideas and incentives, and in the process of creative destruction. Favor the experiment, learn, and adapt approach over the predict, commit, and plan approach.
The Carrot Economics crowd thinks "success" is when aggregate growth not only accelerates, but also produces pleasant surprises benefiting not just aggregate income, but also national security and the environment.
2. Stick Economics:
"Rich is unfair." Tax more and more heavily anyone who somehow got "rich"—even if that status was achieved by making better quality of life more affordable to the masses. Try not to get cornered into defining the word "rich" or discussing causes of "growth." Trust the government to make fewer mistakes than the market makes. Favor the predict, commit, and plan approach over the experiment, learn, and adapt approach. Spread fear of the future, and suspicion of people and organizations who practice Carrot Economics.
The Stick Economics crowd thinks "success" is when the top two quintiles of households get their comeuppance for destroying the environment and for mercilessly suppressing the bottom three quintiles.
FYI, here’s a link to the previous article, which also explains some of the reasons I am not always enamored with the Republican party line.