Stimulus Linkorama

Some great commentary on the stimulus package today:

  • Alternative proposals from Miron and Mankiw sound better to me than a raft of spending.
  • Those millions of jobs we’re supposed to get? They’re estimated from a simple rule of thumb. We all know how good rules of thumb work, right?
  • I’m curious if anyone has an example of a stimulus package working. Massive spending cuts after World War II failed to create a recession. And Japan’s stimulus didn’t seem to help.

    In the end, say economists, it was not public works but an expensive cleanup of the debt-ridden banking system, combined with growing exports to China and the United States, that brought a close to Japan’s Lost Decade. This has led many to conclude that spending did little more than sink Japan deeply into debt, leaving an enormous tax burden for future generations.

  • Popular Mechanics points out that the reason projects are shovel-ready is because they weren’t worth doing in the first place.
  • I’m opposed to the current stimulus, but my conservative streak has lots of misgivings. I’m not sure I’m right and the stakes seem awfully big. The downside risk of not acting — a prolonged recession — seems better the downside risk of acting — inflation and a lost decade. But that’s just me.

    I also refuse, on principle, to join with the science blogs in protesting the elimination of NSF budget hikes. I can’t be opposed to runaway spending in principle but support it for my specific bailiwick.

    Comments are closed.