If one is going to go after sacred cows, one should really go after sacred cows. Most of the people in our society who get credit for "going after sacred cows" are just going after unfashionable ones. At least ones that are unfashionable in the circles they want to appeal to. We live in a world of iconodules posing as iconoclasts.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

By Their Own Model, Stimulus Doing Harm

"The stimulus apologists are ignoring the original prediction based on a model. By that prediction, the stimulus is doing harm"

It was obvious in advance of the passage of the "Stimulus", even in advance of the Inauguration, that the Stimulus would not live up to the predictions they were making in arguing for it, and that they would end up dropping those arguments entirely and instead say it was successful anyhow because things would have been even worse without it.

Why should I say it was obvious? Because this happens every time, with virtually every Progressive policy since the Great Society, if not before. They almost always fail if judged on the bases of the original arguments of what benefits they would produce, so those are dropped down the memory hole and "things would be worse without it" is substituted as the new rationale.

I agree wholeheartedly with this, with one caviat:

"I suppose I should be relieved. Claiming success is far less destructive than another irresponsible "stimulus." I'm grateful for small favors."

Their argument that it was a success is destructive down the road, because it always leads to more stimulus packages, which historically have always been successful only in political terms, by allowing politicians to claim credit for the upside of the business cycle while putting all the blame on private actors for downturns in the same cycle, but such packages are not successful in economic terms.

Update: Graphs! We have graphs!



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