The foolishness of economic “stimulus”

Christian Science Monitor
by Donald J. Boudreaux

01/24/08

A consensus is building that America’s economy is sliding — perhaps plummeting — into recession. In December the unemployment rate jumped to 5.0 percent, up 3/10ths of 1 percent from its November level. And of course investors are now growlingly bearish. To no one’s surprise, politicians are rushing in with various plans for helping the economy. Most of these plans involve ’stimulus.’ The calls are loud to put more money into the hands of ordinary Americans in hopes that they will spend — not save — it, thereby boosting the overall economy. Such stimulus, however, is futile. Government cannot create genuine spending power; the most it can do is to transfer it from Smith to Jones. If the Treasury sends a stimulus check to Jones, the money comes from taxes, from borrowing, or is newly created...

//www.csmonitor.com/2008/0124/p09s02-coop.html



Bush’s stimulus flop

Cato Institute
by Alan Reynolds

01/22/08

A reporter on Fox News recently asked, ‘Which presidential candidate is most qualified to turn the economy around and avoid a recession?’ The quick answer is: none. No candidate will become president soon enough to matter, and to ask the question is to presume that recessions can and should be avoided. But some business mistakes require time to be fixed. Too many houses were built in some areas, so prices have to fall to discourage more building and encourage more buying. Some banks made too many bad loans, so they need to become more cautious. Besides, if presidents really knew how to avoid recessions, why do we keep having them? Nonetheless, President George W. Bush is now joining the election-year rush to ‘give the economy a shot in the arm.’ A shot of debt, that is...

//www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9109


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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