Economics

The Myth of the Multiplier

Why the stimulus package hasn't reduced unemployment

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Give us money, and we'll give you jobs. That was the promise President Barack Obama made when he asked Congress for a $789 billion stimulus bill. The cash, he said, would create millions of jobs during the next two years. Without the stimulus, the administration warned in a January report by economic advisers Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, unemployment by the end of 2010 would reach as high as 9 percent.

Well, Obama got his money. Since then, the economy has shed more than 2 million jobs and the unemployment rate has climbed to 9.4 percent. By May 2009, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) had changed its message. Now the stimulus would "save or create" 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010. 

Measuring total jobs "saved" by a piece of legislation is as difficult as measuring total crimes prevented by police patrols. That's why no agency—not the Labor Department, not the Treasury, not the Bureau of Labor Statistics— actually calculates "jobs saved." As the University of Chicago economist Steven J. Davis told the Associated Press, using saved jobs as a yardstick "was a clever political gimmick to make it even harder to determine whether this policy has any effect."

A look at the CEA's job creation model undercuts its promises even more. The model's calculation of saved or created jobs is based on a macroeconomic estimate, not on actual data. According to the authors, the estimate rests on a "rough correspondence over history" that indicates a 1 percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP) represents an increase of 1 million jobs. They might as well have said the estimate was picked at random.

How did they come up with the 1 percent figure? Since government spending is increasing, and since such spending is a component of GDP, they assumed GDP would grow whether or not the spending produced real growth in the economy. This is akin to assuming I will have a baby in nine months whether or not I am pregnant.

The May report concedes that while the CEA will attempt to measure job creation through data collected from stimulus recipients, the results will contain errors and inconsistencies. "Because of these limitations," it warns, "the reported jobs numbers will need to [be] used with caution and as part of a more complex estimation strategy."

Since then, Romer has told CNBC she couldn't say for sure how many jobs would be created, since we can't know what would have happened without the stimulus. But didn't her report pro-ject what would happen if the stimulus wasn't passed? Wasn't the 3.5 million number supposed to be the difference between employment with the stimulus and employment without it?

The confusion flows from the faulty theory underlying the stimulus bill. In Keynesian thought, a decline in demand causes a decline in spending; since one person's spending is someone else's income, a fall in demand makes a nation poorer. As a poorer nation cuts back on spending, it sets off another wave of declining income. So any big shock to consumer spending or business confidence can set off waves of job losses and layoffs, as fewer goods are demanded and more workers become useless.

Under this logic, one possible remedy is for public spending to take the place of private spending. As government increases its spending, the money creates new employment. That, in turn, spurs those new workers to consume more and prompts businesses to buy more machines and equipment to meet the government-induced demand. Economists call this increase in aggregate income the "multiplier" effect. One dollar of government spending, the theory goes, ends up creating more than a dollar of new income. It's a rare free lunch.

As appealing as the Keynesian story sounds, many economists have long doubted it. In 1991, looking across 100 countries, Robert Barro of Harvard presented historical evidence that high government spending actually hurts economies in the long run by crowding out private spending and shifting resources to the uses preferred by politicians rather than consumers. For a dollar of government spending, we end up seeing less than a dollar of growth. Can long-term poison be short-term medicine?

Even in the short run, if there's a big decline in the demand for workers, why should that alone cause mass unemployment? If all those workers really want to work, why won't wages just fall until all the workers have jobs? That's how markets end a glut, whether it's a glut of employees or a glut of blue jeans: with lower prices. If recessions really are caused by a fall in demand (and nothing else), why don't wages fall enough to keep people from losing their jobs? 

It's because wages are sticky, Keynesians argue. Wages and salaries don't change on a daily basis the way stock prices and gas prices do, so if a company hits a sales slump, salespeople might earn fewer commissions, but the vast majority of workers don't get a pay cut. There's something about the market for workers that keeps businesses from cutting wages in a slump. As long as wages are sticky, in the wake of a nationwide collapse in sales, entrepreneurs will start firing people.

If a decline in demand means mass firing, a rise in demand can mean mass hiring. Even if government spending is inefficient, pork-laden, and financed by future tax increases, the theory goes, it can still create some real jobs, some real output, in both the public and private sectors. 

So what do the data say? There aren't many studies of the issue. But two stand out: Robert Barro's work and research by Valerie Ramey, an economist at the University of California–San Diego, on how military spending influences GDP. Both studies found that government spending crowds out the private sector, at least a little. And both found multipliers close to one: Barro's estimate is 0.8, while Ramey's estimate is 1.2. This means that every dollar of government spending produces either less than a dollar of economic growth or just a little over a dollar. That's quite different from the administration's favored multiplier of four. What's more, Ramey also found evidence that consumer and business spending actually decline after an increase in government purchases.

Why this crowding out of private spending? Government spending comes from three sources: debt, new money, or taxes. In other words, the government can't inject money into the economy without first taking money out of the economy.

Take taxation: Taxes simply transfer resources from consumers to government, displacing private spending and investment. Families whose taxes have increased will have less money to spend on themselves. They are poorer and will consume less. They also save less money, which in turn reduces the resources available for lending.

In addition, higher taxation encourages people to change their behavior to avoid taxes. They might switch their efforts to nontaxed activities, such as household production, or to the untaxed underground economy. Economists call this a deadweight loss, because people give up the taxed activity or good they prefer.

There are high costs to the other options as well. If the government borrows money, that leaves less capital for the private sector to borrow for its own consumption. If the government prints new money, it will create inflation, which reduces the value of the money we own and decreases everyone's purchasing power.

Overall, government spending doesn't boost national income or standard of living. It merely redistributes it—minus the share it spends on the bureaucracy that collects and spends our tax dollars. The pie is sliced differently, but it's not any bigger. In fact, it's smaller.

Contributing Editor Veronique de Rugy (vderugy@gmu.edu) is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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102 responses to “The Myth of the Multiplier

  1. politics + economics = gross stupidity

    of course:

    politics + anything = stupidity

    Politics is the stupidity factor.

    1. economics + anything is(=) gross

  2. Overall, government spending doesn’t boost national income or standard of living. It merely redistributes it?minus the share it spends on the bureaucracy that collects and spends our tax dollars.

    Exactly!

  3. This means that every dollar of government spending produces either less than a dollar of economic growth or just a little over a dollar.

    Translation: This means that every dollar of government spending either destroys 20 cents of private investment or at best provides a return of 20 cents on the dollar.

    The myth of the economic multiplier

    Let’s counterfeit our way to wealth

    1. This is actually an interesting/good point. If government spending creates a multiplier effect, why wouldn’t counterfeiting have the same affect?

  4. That mohawk kid has a backpfeifengesicht if I’ve ever seen one.

  5. On NPR this morning, it was reported that the stimulus had “created or saved 200,000 (or so) teaching jobs”.

    There was so much fuck-up in that sentence, one hardly knows where to begin.

    1. Lets start at the beginning…”On NPR…” that’s pretty fucked up a priori wouldn’t you say?

  6. using saved jobs as a yardstick “was a clever political gimmick to make it even harder to determine whether this policy has any effect.”

    I keep waiting for the administration to announce that “[insert #] terrorists were killed, captured, or dissuaded”.

  7. The mohawk kid is unclear on the concept of “blog”.

  8. Overall, government spending doesn’t boost national income or standard of living. It merely redistributes it?minus the share it spends on the bureaucracy that collects and spends our tax dollars.

    Technically, there’s no “minus the share . . . ” Those dollars are just redistributed to the Governing Class.

    1. R C, drop by for a beer sometime.

      1. Put some Arrogant Bastard in the fridge. Or an Old Nick, your choice. I’ll be right over.

  9. Associated Press: Higher jobless rates could be new normal.

    Anyone with an ounce of common sense: “Keynesian economics is bullcrap that never works.”

    1. They’re just trying to get folks used to the idea that a crappy economy and lack of (private sector) jobs is normal; hopefully you’ll then stop being so mouthy about it.

  10. Even Richard Posner, who is a Keynesian, admits that the multiplier is probably less than 1.

  11. Thread Jack:

    “The National Health Service has spent ?1.5m [about $2.5 million] paying for hundreds of its staff to have private health treatment so they can leapfrog their own waiting lists,” London’s Sunday Times reports:

    More than 3,000 staff, including doctors and nurses, have gone private at the taxpayers’ expense in the past three years because the queues at the clinics and hospitals where they work are too long.Figures released under the Freedom of Information act show that NHS administrative staff, paramedics and ambulance drivers have also been given free private healthcare. This has covered physiotherapy, osteopathy, psychiatric care and counselling–all widely available on the NHS.British health care, it seems, resembles American elementary and secondary education, in that the government has a monopoly but there is an expensive private opt-out–and many of those who run the monopoly avail themselves of the private system. If you like the public schools, you’ll love ObamaCare!

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t…..879553.ece

    1. Nice thread jack. Pure gold.

  12. And both found multipliers close to one: Barro’s estimate is 0.8, while Ramey’s estimate is 1.2.

    If you managed a mutual fund that returned 20%, you’d be on the cover of Business Week. The multiplier claim is perpetual motion. It’s impossible in economics for the same reason it’s impossible in physics and all other ics.

    1. If the multiplier is/was true, it would just make sense for the government to spend into oblivion, seeing as how every $1 spent equate to $1.20.

      Tim – but in physics, energy can be neither created nor destroyed. Certainly wealth can be created or destroyed.

      1. only by the government (or other Ponzi schemers) apparently

    2. I think Bernie Madoff was only promising about sixteen percent or so.

    3. You’re missing the point Tim. The gummint just spends the same dollar twice, but only counts it once. Thusly, multiplier!

      The 60% difference is consumed by the overhead of our selfless and brave civil servants acting in the nation’s interest.

    4. Is the multiplier effect thermodynamically possible? Since every dollar spent in the US is taxed in some way than there’s nothing but a loss – since even the tax dollars are themselves taxed.

    5. Shyeah. Taking monies from already productive sectors, and transferring them to unproductive sectors improves nothing. I think RC Dean said it best (in a thread many moons ago– I hope it was RC Dean… anyhoo) I’ll paraphrase:

      If through government intervention the economy grows at 1.5% when it it would have grown at 2.5% without it, that’s not growth of 1.5%, it’s a loss of 1%.

    6. “The multiplier claim is perpetual motion. It’s impossible in economics for the same reason it’s impossible in physics and all other ics.”

      But that doesn’t matter of course – just like it doesn’t matter that there is no proof of man-made global warming.

      The only real objective is the deliberate redsitribution of wealth for political purposes and any excuse/rationalization/theory/belief will do just fine as the vehcile to drive it.

    7. It’s not impossible in bullshitics.

  13. Exactly. If it was between 1.2 and 4, why not spend $787 trillion, or ten times that? A thousand times that? It will all multiply and magically come back to us!!

    1. The government would merely claim diminishing returns. Ie, they’ve found the riiiiiiight point on the curve right where they are. ‘Cause they’re just that smart.

  14. Now if only more people read Reason.

    Then again, Joe Sixpack doesn’t have the attention span to pay attention to something longer than a quick sound-bite.

    1. quick what?

  15. Delta S sub government = Infinity

  16. You know it might have legitimately created some jobs, the problem is that not enough people take initiative for themselves and get a job, or create their own, That’s the problem, too many dumbasses waiting around for someone to spoon feed them.

    1. I can create a job myself. For instance, I could hire a maid tomorrow. Now ask me where the money to hire that maid will come from, and if I can really afford it.

      1. If you can’t afford it now, just *save* that job until you can.

      2. I meant creating a job for yourself not others. You know, like opening your own bakery. Or money factory

    2. That’s what I’ve been doing wrong? I just need to go get one of those saved jobs?

      I submitted a resume last month. The same job was offered two years ago and drew a total of four applications. This time there were over a hundred, in a rural county with about 40,000 population.

      I already run my own business, teaching people to shoot. It’s doing better than last year, but it still isn’t enough to live on.

      Anyone need a writer or editor?

  17. 9.4% ? I thought it was 9.8% ?

    1. It was probably 9.4% when she wrote the article . . .

  18. If the multiplier is greater than one, why is inflation less than zero?

    1. Because our official inflation metrics are crap, that’s why.

      Look at the plummeting UDX if you want to get a feel for what the smart money thinks the dollar is worth. The only reason they can continue to auction US debt at such low interest rates is because most of it is bought by the Treasury, either at auction or shortly after.

      1. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

  19. Utility Dog Excellent?

  20. How does money creation cause inflation? How does it reduce the value of each dollar?

    If you actually follow through on the analysis, then you get that government spending financed by money creation raises the demand for goods and service. At the current price level, this supposedly would lead to shortages. Profit-seeking firms will raise prices.

    However, what if there are surpluses of goods and services at current prices? Then the incease in demand will end the surpluses. Production will rise and deflation will not occur.

    Government borrowing, on the other hand, generally results in less private borrowing. But not if it reduces the demand to hold money. That is, if people will lend to the government, but otherwise, would have simply held money, then government spending funded by borrowing can raise total spending and increase production and head off price deflation.

    1. For one, it’s hard enough trying to micromanage a kid’s birthday party…

    2. One reason stimuli never work because government spending causes people to hold money.

    3. Do you think people are holding money in their mattresses?

      The money people “hold” in banks is already in the system; you aren’t freeing up lost money.

      1. Mockmook,

        Yes, I suppose the money is already in the system. It would also be “in the system” if it were stuffed in mattresses.

        It is a matter of supply and demand. If people want to hold more money that is in the banks that there is money in the banks, then this results in reduced expenditure. In the short run, it results in reduced production. In the long run, in reduced prices.

        Your “in the system” analysis leaves the purchasing power of money anchorless.

  21. Economics Math makes my Calc 3 class look like preschool… How could it have gotten so complicated to make simple trades, loans, etc?

  22. Veronique loves counting calories.

  23. Has anyone considered supporting candidate for high office who doesn’t believe in this government economic voodoo (read: horseshit)??? Did you support a candidate during the primaries who didn’t endorse this kind of crap??? It seems to me there was one.

    Or did you join with Reason in trying their best to sabotage the only candidate who didn’t endorse this Keynesian BS and the idea of “wealth redistribution” (invariably redistribution to the ruling class, both public and private.)

    If you were just too cool to support a completely uncool old fart who talked boringly about the Constitution and sane economic theory, then you have gotten what you deserve.

    1. Despite he is pro-life I would have supported him.

      His son Rand Paul is very similar but adopts a federalist approach to the abortion issue, which I find much more palatable.

    2. I supported the uncool guy… Until he didn’t appear on the national ballot, in which case I supported the Stache.

    3. Tying dollars to gold does not solve any of these issues. It just shifts the problem from inflating to higher interest rates or borrowing.

      Gold is not perfect either because gold demand is also erratic.

      Also, what happens when there is a panic (as there will always be), and people demand more gold than is backing the currency?

      1. Also, what happens when there is a panic (as there will always be), and people demand more gold than is backing the currency?

        If you accept paper (or electrons) in exchange for your gold and do no diligence about the holdings of the bank that’s on you.

        Lending money is an investment, investments have risks, whether to a bank or otherwise.

        Masking the risks do no service to the investor.

  24. So, a dollar spent by the private sector is just a dollar,
    but a government dollar has the magic “multiplier effect”?
    Reminds me of the story of the two drunks walking down the road.
    One has a big jug of wine, and the other has a dollar bill.
    Every time one of them gets thirsty, he hands the dollar to the other,
    and gets the jug in return.

    So on they go, swapping the same jug for the same dollar,
    but eventually they leave the road to find a haystack
    to sleep it off in. Just before they pass out, they reassure each other:
    “sales have been so brisk, we’ll be rich when we wake up!”

  25. If the government prints new money, it will create inflation, which reduces the value of the money we own and decreases everyone’s purchasing power.

    Veronique passes over this one pretty quickly. But a neo-Keynesian would say: hold on a minute here — our argument is precisely that new money can be created in a time of recession without creating inflation since it is being used to replace missing aggregate demand. If you print money during times of full employment, you run a real risk of inflation. But not necessarily during a recession.

    This is the crux of the argument, and it is basically ignored by the author.

    I detest government spending as much as any libertarian, but if the neo-Keynesians are correct, I’d much rather avoid a general deflationary depression with mass unemployment and misery all around in favor of continued economic growth with only a chance of inflation if the Fed doesn’t correct at the right time. Cutting off my nose to spite my face never appealed to me. It shouldn’t appeal to you either. Sometimes you need to hold your nose and accept that a bunch of idiots and scoundrels are going to get paid by the government in order that the entire economy not collapse. Too bad we can’t actually do something productive with the spending, like improve the highway and energy infrastructure, instead of whatever nonsense the Democrats wanted to spend the money on. The American people, in their wisdom, empowered the Democrats at this time in history. Sad, but true.

    1. If you print money during times of full employment, you run a real risk of inflation. But not necessarily during a recession.

      That’s the theory and it’s properly ignored by her because there’s never been any evidence this phenomenon occurs. In fact the evidence shows the opposite. Barro, Mountford & Uhlig, etc.

      but if the neo-Keynesians are correct

      They aren’t.

      I’d much rather avoid a general deflationary depression with mass unemployment and misery all

      As we have seen in the great depression, and as Japan saw, and as we will unfortunately have to see again, stimulus spending causes the very thing it purports to ward off.

      1. As I’ve tried to explain on this site before, neo-Keynesian economics is “baked into” our system at the level of the monetary system, which is based on fiat currency. Put very simply, money gets into the economy via government spending (of one kind or another), and is drained back out via income taxes and T-bill sales (you give them the money back, they give you another piece of interest-bearing paper so you can get more money later).

        Much as libertarians would like this not the be the case (and you can consider me one of them up until recent years, when I began to understand it better), it is the case, and therefore much of the Keynesian framework pertains.

        It is worth pumping more money into the system during a recession so that everyone doesn’t, metaphorically, just sit in their basements living off cans of red beans and rice until things “work themselves out” naturally.

        Of course, Obama fucked it up royally, since neither he nor Pelosi nor any of the other crooks understand the first thing about this. Only a few people at the Fed probably do either.

        1. It is worth pumping more money into the system during a recession so that everyone doesn’t..

          You’re completely ignoring the fact that printing money doesn’t stop this and never has. That’s the point.

          It doesn’t work. People know that the money comes from them and behave accordingly. They know they are in for a soaking.

          Disney economists like to claim Austrians depend on people acting super rationally, which is of course a lie.

          But what is true is than Keynesianism depends on people acting stupid.

          Which is why it doesn’t work, and only academically educated economists ever think it will.. because they are trained to be stupid in this regard.

          When it ever works we can talk. As it stands Keynes is batting zero.

          It’s too bad he isn’t right though.

          We’re in for a world of hurt that Disney economists can’t see because it comes from their blind spot.

          Reality.

    2. So, when the economy bounces back, that dollar must be removed or it will cause inflation.

      Except, governments rarely do that; and if they do, they reduce growth during the expansion–so it’s a wash.

      You are counting on the government creating and destroying dollars with almost perfect timing–and you are ignoring the transaction costs and dislocations that turn this into a net loser.

  26. The state governments got the money for “shovel ready” projects. It takes years for a project to get off of the ground and be “shovel ready”. More likely states took the money and funded already funded projects. They just switched the state money for fed money and viola. Their budgets were balanced. No new “shovel ready” projects and hence now new jobs.

  27. If you look at Rohmers pre-stimulus estimates, and the actual data, the data are consistent with a Keynsian multiplier of -1.5 or so.

    If you look at Harding’s slashing of the Federal Budget in 1921, and its impact on jobs, that data also looks like a Keynsian multiplier of -1.5

    I don’t doubt that if the congress last winter, instead of spending $800 Billion on the stimulus, had cut $800 Billion, the employment today would be dramatically higher.

  28. Once again, Hayek and Mises are right, Keynes is wrong. How long will it take?

  29. Keynesian economics was a crock – immediately bastardized by politicians. This time is no different.
    Obama’s Kenya-nomics is worse. It injects politics of envy from Wright’s Black Liberation Theology into the mix. Like Detroit people who resist will be bullied, or worse.

    It took this mindset 30 years to completely gut out Detroit. Best example of Obama’s Kenya economics at work his new energy CZAR has moved to halt nuclear power generation through regulatory hurtles. A demand to “test” reactor containment building strength against hurricanes. As if a ten foot thick re-enforced concrete wall on a fifteen foot thick re-enforced concrete base designed to take a direct hit by a fully loaded passenger jet cannot withstand 150 MPH winds.

    Clear ideology against logic and science. A clear indication where Obama’s bastardized form of Keynesian economics will take this country.

    Gets worse.

    Obama’s economics will make the US the least attractive place to do business on this planet. The most taxed and regulated. With technology and finance global the region most attractive for rate of return will get the bulk of investment. New technologies and products which will lead the next great economic boom will go there. Means for the first time in nearly 180 years America will not be the place where the next great economic boom originates. Like England of the early 20th century America has elected leadership with less belief in how the country became great than admiration for merit of “opinion” of other nations. Blame America for global ills dominates Democratic Party leaders, and heavily influences Republicans. The merit of the US Constitution is less than other systems.

    England quickly declined as a global power after this mind set took hold. America is going to decline swiftly for the same reason.

  30. Speaking of energy policy and jobs. Amazing that after all the talk of energy independence, the Obama administration has blocked oil and gas rights for close to a 100 sites in Utah (good news is that the administration just opened up leasing for oil shale in Utah and Colorado, though with rather hefty restrictions. It may be overly cautious, but that’s okay–the technology really isn’t her yet to fully exploit oil shale.)

  31. Hopefully, we’re about to discover that government attempts to control our economy not only don’t work, they actually work in reverse. In our form of government, each and every new law that is passed serves to constrict or prohibit an action.
    Lawyers tend to make lousy economists.

  32. I am a small business owner. I knew this wouldn’t work. The only creators of jobs have been small business owners in the last few recoveries. Small business owners had fear and contempt about Obama before the election. They (and the military) were the two groups that went whole-hog for McCain. They are WAY too fearful about the direction of the country now to even think about hiring anybody. In other words, in addition to all the technical things discussed here, there’s a psychological component. And the psychology that matter is the small business owner. And we are exactly the sort of people that Obama despises (guns and religion clingers). And there’s no way we trust him enough to take the risk of spending more money.

  33. Good article, but could be much simpler stated that the stimulus was never designed to create jobs, it was only a combination of payoff to the unions and wealth re-distribution (welfare). But fear not out of that 787 billion Obama the generous is making 5 billion available as LOANS to small business owners, you know the people who constitute 95% of this nation’s workforce and employers. This 5 billion will do more than all the rest which was simply wasted

    1. … and even this is bullshit because these loans will not go to real small businesses, but those with the right political connections. And besides, if small businessmen don’t think the environment is right for risking money, they’d be idiots to borrow money and then risk it. Except, of course, for the ACORN-type “businesses” who will get the money and then likely be forgiven by the government when then can’t pay it back.

  34. it’s tautologcal that each additional $100,000 spent by goverment will create a $100,000 job somewhere in the economy. When goverment spending is up and at the same time tax revenue is down, jobs are created at least in the short run.

    1. I replied below, but I will also add:

      If the govt buys $100,000 of useless widgets, it’s doubtful the impact will be equivalent to a $100,000 job.

      Yes, gross income to someone (or many someones) will go up by a total of $100,000 in the first transaction.

      But, the waste of resources on useless widgets will be a net loss to the economy.

    2. it’s tautologcal that each additional $100,000 spent by goverment will create a $100,000 job somewhere in the economy.

      Tautological? Hell it’s not even observable.

      Even if that were true it neglects the fact that the private sector knows they are on the hook for it and cut back in response. Which effect reverberates through the economy.

      That’s why spending is correlated with unemployment.

  35. You are ignoring a couple of things:

    The $100,000 is part of a $700 billion stimulus package.

    People change their behavior (perhaps even before the stimulus bill is passed) because they anticipate higher taxes or inflation. That behavior change can negate the stimulative effect (even in the short term).

    And, even if there is some short term stimulus, it won’t last long–unless the stimulus used resources more efficiently than the free market (an almost impossible feat).

    1. Dang, that was supposed to be a reply to Andrew…

  36. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp.

  37. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books.

  38. Dang, that was supposed to be a reply to Andrew…

  39. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets

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  45. I have a degree in Poli Sci with minors in philosophy and economics. I worked in politics for the Republican party of Wisconsi . And the Wisconsin Recall Action Fund. I was an Army Medic and now I study Nursing since I’m tired of the bullshit. I was attacked pretty religiously when I proposed that the government multiplier was less than one. In addition I suggested that government spending slows the velocity transfer of money. This was not recieved well. Was I right? I’ll never know I guess, but hayek certainly called it. I read F.A. Hayek, Keynes, and Friedman at 19 years old. Have we already been indoctrinated?? Or was I wrong about the equations?

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