Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Economic Herxing Effect

Herxing is a medical term and defined as occurring when injured or dead bacteria release their endotoxins into the blood and tissues faster than the body can comfortably handle it. This provokes a sudden and exaggerated inflammatory response. Many times when people take antibiotics to fight bacteria, viral, or mycoplasma infections, the initial reaction is for their illness to worsen until the dead bacteria and mycoplasma is removed from the body. It is not uncommon for people to have such bad infections because they took too long to identify and treat forcing people to take antibiotics for prolonged periods of time. In such cases, the antibiotics are rotated periodically so the body does not become immune to them. Infected individuals may go through a herxing effect each time an antibiotic is switched. In fact, the few people I know who have gone through long term infectious illnesses may have died if they did not advocate for their own health. Doctors seem dumbfounded by strange prolonged illnesses and many times think the patient is depressed or having some kind of psychosomatic response. Hence, these illnesses attack the body longer than they should.

Our economy is also going through a prolonged herxing effect. Liberals like to talk about the lost decade under Bush’s leadership. Well, in most regards, especially when it comes to spending, Obama is continuing a steroid version of Bush spending policies. Obama increased Bush’s military spending on drone defense, Afghanistan, and Libya. Obama increased Bush’s record level of anti-poverty and entitlement spending. Obama continued Bush’s TARP and auto bailout policies. Obama increased Bush’s record for costly regulations, rules, and mandates. Obama increased healthcare costs through ObamaCare despite Bush increases to Medicare prescription drugs programs and SCIP. Obama increased education funding for “Race to the Top” despite Bush spending increases for “No Child Left Behind” (Yet each year we break records for lower test scores and dropout rates).

My point is that our economy remains ill despite being faced with a prolonged dose of spending. We have been through a recession and stagnant growth over the past 5 years. Yet, we continue along the same treatment path of massive deficit spending. Our economy is facing a herxing effect, and like people with long illnesses, we need to switch remedies. Obama’s future plan is to continue a heavy dose of government spending combined with a higher tax on the people who consume the most. In essence, this is the same treatment we have faced over the past 5 years except it is more volatile because of increased taxes. And to make matters worse, people are not advocating for their own economic wellbeing. In fact, they are becoming dependent on government economic treatments in the form of entitlement subsidies. This is a recipe for economic calamity and disaster when people are no longer in control of their own fiscal situation.

Even if a new President and Congress changed course with a better economic treatment consisting of less spending and austerity measures, the country will continue to go through a herxing effect for several years. Our economic health is in such a depressed state it will take a long and painful amount of time to correct the spending woes of the Bush and Obama administrations.

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