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« Some Basic Economics of Public Policy | Main | Too Many Human Actions? »


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The Dinosaur was my favorite blues-BBQ joint outside of Chicago. Loved it.

Cool post, but you didn't give us an alternate term. I am willing to use something other than "stimulus plan," but what?

I think I'll take a page from the Dinosaur BBQ menu and call it the "Big Ass Pork Plan". :)

Let me think about alternatives.

The point could be extended to macroeconomics itself.

You could say that "Keynesian economics" was just a grab-bag of ideas that had been bouncing around just waiting for a Great Depression -- and a political entrepreneur and raconteur like John Maynard Keynes.

At core, what is _The General Theory_ but a new version of Foster & Catchings spun into 1920s and 1930s Marshallian economics, and exploiting the distinction between savings and investment?

I can see how contraception can be seen as a reduction of costs. Spending some money now on family planning/contraception will result in fewer unwanted/unplanned pregnancies. As a result, we wouldn't have to spend even more money in the future on food stamps, medicaid, social services, foster care and other forms of welfare state infrastructure.

Of course, that's a very indirect form of "stimulus."

And I doubt Nancy Pelosi will ever attempt to roll back the welfare state. What's more likely is that she'll take the money she "saved" and spend it on nationalizing health care (as opposed to fixing it).

Great Post! Well put.

I doubt that the proper metaphor for confronting this current crisis of confidence is "stimulus".

I liked this post, and will predict that in 8 years we could see Obama as humbled as Bush was, on his exit, if this overt appeal to fear continues.

That would be nicely ironic.

"Trillion Dollar Loan" (from ourselves)?
The GDP of Australia?
Economic Patriot Act?
Something about the $1.5 billion per person spending idea? I think that really resonates, if someone could catch-phrase it.

Naming things is hard.

Steve, you and the editors at the WSJ were thinking along the same lines yesterday. Here's what they wrote in an editorial ("The Stimulus Time Machine"):

"The spending portion of the stimulus, in short, isn't really about the economy. It's about promoting long-time Democratic policy goals, such as subsidizing health care for the middle-class and promoting alternative energy. The 'stimulus' is merely the mother of all political excuses to pack as much of this spending agenda as possible into a single bill when Mr. Obama is at his political zenith."

Identifying the parallel with the Bush gang is a stroke of brilliance!

Labeling the TARP a "bailout" at least delayed it temporarily. How do you oppose "stimulus" without sounding like a bad guy to Joe Public?

There was some dicussion of renaming the Bush stimulus tax rebates over at Salon last spring. "The Splurge" was the winner I believe.

> Bottom line: the more that those of us who are skeptical continue to even refer to this as a "stimulus" plan, the more we play into the other side's hands.

Excellent point.

I've been calling it

the "stimulus"


Geez. Taking advantage of a crisis to advance your policies. How venal.

So who is al-Qaeda in that analogy?

I have a different conception of the whole stimulus plan that Obama had signed. For a start it is not what you have said to be a "whole bunch of programs designed to extend the state's role in the economy and in our personal lives, and to do so at enormous cost to us".
We cannot deny that the stimulus package had cushioned the fall of the housing market and had helped first time buyers to buy homes with a monetary aid and at an affordable rate which had enticed consumers to consume. (We all know that consumption is one of the components that make our economy run smoothly).
It also has saved the financial system and brought a positive effect on the stock market.
I am not saying that the stimulus package is flawless. My point is that we should also be able to appreciate the good things that the Stimulus packaged had brought us.

Those authorities holding the congress position must decide wisely. They need to create a law which can help all the citizens in the long run. Not just for their own benefit.

Sometimes those people whom we trusted to work for us to have a better government are the one who caused us too much burden in our lives. All government officials must do their job accordingly, not just because it's what they want.

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Very interesed about what you said about 9/11 there are so many things said about it and abour crisis that people are so confused they dont know what to believe.

A very nice post and really liked it. It's interesting and detailed that's the main thing. And I am sure I would love other posts too. :)

The Dinosaur was my favorite blues-BBQ joint outside of Chicago. Loved it.

Politics is turning into the new eality television. There are people , more and more each day, who are ripe to believe that we are in the end times and using the idots running washington as evidence. I am truly worried about the future in a way I have never been in all my 45 years.

Thank for sharing keep it up

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