Sunday, February 08, 2009

Stimulus

From Reason Hit & Run:



This add is cute but misses what seems to me the main issue.

Americans are acting as if a member of their family might lose his or her job, or have their hours cut back, in the near future. They are saving money or paying down debt, mainly the latter. In this debt-ridden economy, this is the easiest way most of us have to increase our disposable income. They are being rational. This is just what they ought to be doing.

But this means that they are spending less money on TVs, IPods, laptops, and cars -- less than they spent on these things when they were accumulating debt. So the makers of these goodies are getting less money than they used to, and they are suffering the consequences. Companies are going bankrupt and people are losing their jobs.

Our masters see this suffering and -- treating symptoms instead of the underlying illness -- they want us to keep giving that money to the makers of all that cool stuff. This is what "stimulating the economy" means. To this end, they are forcing us back, deeper into debt (this time, in the form of government bond issues). It is another case of the people wanting to do one thing, and the government trying to manipulate or force them into doing something else.

As I have said before, I am with the people on this one. I am paying down debt, and for exactly the same reason everybody else is. And yet I am dragged further into it. That thumping and keening sound you hear is me, kicking and screaming.
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