Stimulus: Still Stupid the Second Time Around

No one would ever wish for a crisis, but the one good thing about it is that everyone starts to pull together.  Unless of course, you’re not asleep and dreaming about another country in another era.

Pulling together would interfere with self-indulgent, short-sighted, partisan ignorance.  The only positive to me, is that I now know that I won’t have to worry about my immediate personal safety if I’m ever in a crowded life boat– I can relax and wait while the children are thrown overboard, maybe even before the lifeboat becomes crowded.  (Sure, they said it was just a drill, but why take chances?  Maybe they were afraid we’d panic– maybe it’s a fractional reserve lifeboat.)

What about the consumer– if the consumer isn’t confident, surely that’s an excellent excuse to live in the present? Doesn’t the future depend on living well now?

It’s very convenient to believe that an economy depends on consumption– it’s what you’d expect the self-centered and intellectually lazy to believe in.

“You mean, my idle whims and self-indulgence are good for the economy?  The world is my smorgasbord?  I don’t have to think about anything, or prioritize, or save for a rainy day?”

Sir or madam, you are correct– economics tells us so.  Logically, even your bodily functions are good for America, so drink a keg, eat a pizza, take a laxative– economics and Uncle Sam will love you the more– because by a curious coincidence, the exact economic theory that one would expect that a lazy, selfish moron would wish to be true is the exact, prevailing economic orthodoxy in America.  What extraordinary luck!

Confidence can have an impact in any endeavor, but it seems like another non-coincidence that economics shares the same obsession as pop psychology.  What matters more than confidence is reality.  You might be able to hypnotize somebody stranded in the 100 degree desert– no food, water, shelter– into believing it’s all an air-conditioned Swedish embassy party, but that “confidence” won’t accomplish much for his or her “economy”.

Stimulus is a trap.  It can only work when the confidence is already there, waiting to come out– stimulus “works” as long as you don’t need it.  If you’re in the desert and need to reassess, stimulus is a disaster– it prevents the reassessment from taking place.  That’s really all the self-styled confidence building actions of government economists come down to in the end.  Since our method to inspire confidence is to prevent analysis, that ultimately must inspire no confidence at all.

By Les Lafave

Repeal the Federal Reserve Act –

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