John Lott says America is “At the Brink” – Heartland Author Series

April 29, 2013

John Lott, Jr - Heartland 004


Part 1:  Heartland Institute features John R. Lott, Jr., noted economist and author of a game-changng bestseller on guns

As part of the Heartland Noontime Author Series, The Heartland Institute presented John R. Lott, Jr. and his new book, “At the Brink:  Will Obama Push Us Over The Edge,” on Wednesday, April 24.

Not only is John Lott, Jr. a noted economist who has held research and or teaching positions at the University of Chicago, Yale University, Stanford, UCLA, Wharton, but he is also a writer, having published 100 articles in academic journals.  Lott is also an author of seven books and a Fox News contributor that writes weekly columns for the same.

When John Lott was asked why he appeared on Piers Morgan, CNN Piers Morgan Tonight on December 21, 2012 following the massacre in New Town, Connecticut, most certainly knowing ahead of time what his treatment would be, Lott explained it as a trade-off.  It was Lott’s hope that he might get across a couple of points to Piers Morgan listeners that they might otherwise not have had a chance to hear.

John Lott, Jr. was introduced by Jim Lakely, Communications Director of The Heartland Institute and Co-Director of the Center on the Digital Economy, as “the hardest working man on gun control.”  “More Guns, Less Crime,” a game-changing best seller, was described by Lakely as a book that “fills the hearts of liberal with dread.”

Lott’s reason for writing “At the Brink: Will Obama Push Us Over The Edge?” was concern over the permanent damage Obama is doing to this country.  Believing this nation to be on the brink of catastrophe both economically and socially, Lott expressed hope that not all is lost but that fixes are possible.  One area, according to Lott, that has seen some permanent damage is that of healthcare, where huge changes have taken place in the last four years.  The cost of health insurance is sky-rocking.  Leading pharmaceutical manufacturers like Merck & Company and Pfizer have likewise cut research by 50%.

A question posed by Lott was which country would individuals select worldwide if they became seriously ill?  Of course this nation would win hands down!  Here in the U.S. both the insured and the uninsured are satisfied with their health insurance, with the insured expressing even more satisfaction.  It is inevitable that quite soon when Obamacare takes hold America’s health care will no longer be the envy of the world.

On the economy, John Lott spoke about the approaching debt ceiling limit which comes due again in May.  President Obama will be ready with his usual two-prong warning retort: 1) If the debt ceiling fails to pass we will face default, and 2) slowing the rate of public spending would hurt the economy.   Lott warned that if Obama doesn’t stop his spending the economy will be destroyed.  Lott clings to the hope that there is a chance spending will be reduced when the May debt limit is brought up for consideration and a vote.

At the end of President Obama’s first term he promised the American people that government would be made smaller, that the huge stimulus spending was only a necessary, temporary measure targeted at getting the economy moving again.  In his book Lott explains how the “stimulus’ was the most expensive economic failure in history, with consequences that could last for generations.  But not so with Paul Krugman —  a professor at Princeton, a columnist for the “New York Times,” and a winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics — who as a staunch advocate of Keynesian policies recommended stimulus spending far beyond the nearly trillion dollars.

Now into his second term, President Obama is still convinced that government can create wealth and jobs through spending programs.  Since money doesn’t grow on trees to be harvested when called for,  it must come from somewhere else. Whether through taxation or borrowing, both act to transfer wealth from one entity to another.

Despite the $825 billion stimulus which was supposed to create or save 4.1 million jobs (four additional smaller measures followed with the same aim), there were only 194,000 more jobs in the U.S. in October 2012 than when Obama became president.  To keep up with population growth over the same period, 5.7 million additional jobs needed to be created.  When compared to previous recession recoveries between 1975 and 2001, Obama’s recovery is indeed pathetic. The young, and especially those entering the job market for the first time, have been the hardest hit by Obama’s jobless recovery.

It would be prudent for the Obama administration to take note of how countries with the largest spending increases — Ireland, Iceland, Estonia, Spain, and Greece — suffered the most during the recessions.  The more their deficits grew through increased spending, the worse their economies fared.  It was in the frugal countries of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland where per capital government spending shrank on the order of 6.3% to 0.2%.  Per capita GDP actually grew by an average of 7% over the three-year period, along with job growth among working-age populations.


Part Two will deal with Lott’s Heartland luncheon comments on gun control legislation.


Monday, April 29, 2013 at 09:30 AM | Permalink



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