Economics

Is the Stimulus Working? Depends On the Meaning of "Working"

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Economist Arnold Kling:

As we know, most of the stimulus spending does not take place until next year and beyond, so the short-run gains are puny. On the other hand, the big increase in the projected deficit creates the expectation of higher interest rates, which raises interest rates now. These higher interest rates serve to weaken the economy.

According to this standard analysis, the stimulus is going to hurt GDP now, when we could use the most help. Much of the spending will kick in a year or more from now, with multiplier effects following afterward, when the economy will need little, if any, stimulus.

This is the flaw with using spending rather than tax cuts as a stimulus. The lags are longer when you use spending.

Of course, if the real goal is to promote government at the expense of civil society and to create a one-party state in which business success is based on political favoritism, then the stimulus is working exactly as intended.

Kling talking bailout folly on Reason.tv.

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  1. Of course, if the real goal is to promote government at the expense of civil society and to create a one-party state in which business success is based on political favoritism, then the stimulus is working exactly as intended.

    QFMFT, yo.

    I have said for quite some time that the Obama administration can be explained and predicted very easily: the expansion of the power of the national government, the centralization of control, and the entrenchment of the party.

    Thus, for example, marijuana will not be legalized because doing so does not contribute to those goals. Bush’s national security apparatus will not be dismembered, because doing so does not contribute to those goals. Etc. ad nauseum ad infinitum, amen.

  2. Isn’t the real purpose of the stimulus to transfer wealth from the populace at large to the governmentally well-connected wealthy? Or is that just happening, y’know, by accident?

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