This lesson is a companion to Lesson 5:  Jobs Don't Make Money.  I recommend
reviewing it for a fuller grasp of this subject.
     The pie is a common analogy used to explain Socialist misunderstandings about wealth.  
The Socialist believes that wealth is limited, like a single pie that must be carved up fairly.  
Therefore, if one person's piece is too big, then someone else got ripped off.  But the
capitalist says we can bake more pies.  We already have.  Every dark corner of the world
has more lights, cars and cells phones than it did 100 years ago.  The entire world is
wealthier than before.  
     Because Socialists don't actually believe that wealth can increase, they don't actually
believe in economic
growth.  Instead of wealth, they measure activity.  They refer to the
economic "engine," and use related metaphors about the economy "stalling" or
"over-heating."  This way of thinking begat the theory of Stimulus.  After all, engines
sometimes need to be primed or jump-started.  And what better way to jump-start the
engine of economic activity than by forcing people to be active?  That is done by forcing
money to change hands:  Taking it from one person (tax) and giving it to another (spend).  
If we follow this theory to its extreme conclusion, then the more that government taxes and
spends, the more circulation of money that occurs, and the healthier the recovery.  It's like
CPR.
     The problem is that the economy is not a pie or an engine or a beating heart.  Oliver
Wendell Holmes Jr. said "We must think things not words."  Here are the basic things we
must think:
1.  Prosperity is the ability to fulfill your needs and your wants.  We prosper by exchanging
goods and services.  We track that exchange by using money.  
2.  We are limited, both individually and worldwide, in the resources we have to seek
prosperity.  We are limited by time, land, talent and stuff.  
3.  All of your wants and most of your needs are best known by you. Only a few of your
needs are better known by your local government, fewer by the state and the least by
Washington D.C.  By design, government cannot spend your money more wisely than you
can, even if you're rich.  It is inherently wasteful and inefficient.  (See Lessons
3 , 4 and 9).  
4.  When government spends our money, our limited resources, on things we don't want or
need, it has squandered our ability to prosper.   
     For all the economists who subscribe to this block-headed engine theory, another quote
from the great Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.  "Do not be bullied out of your common sense by
the specialist."
Lesson 27:  The Myth of Stimulus (Pies Vs. Engines)