Wednesday, July 28, 2010

'Hair of the Dog' Economics Won't Work

Bill Anderson writes:
I had no idea that Ezra Klein is a brilliant economist, but apparently he agrees with Paul Krugman, so he needs no more qualifications. Granted, he had his flash of brilliance more than a year after Krugman's epiphany, but nonetheless he still is brilliant.

Klein's "insight" is that the government did not spend enough money this past year. Krugman, on the other hand, said last year that the "stimulus" was not generous enough and would fail to stem the economic downturn...

So, for lack of an extra $400 billion, all we got was this lousy depression...

So, if I am to interpret this stuff correctly, had Obama had Tim Geithner sell just another $400 billion of Treasuries to the world, the economy would have gained "traction" (Krugman's favorite term) and we would be bouncing toward recovery as we speak.

Sorry, folks, that dog won't hunt. The problem was not that we spent too little; the problem was that the government refuses to understand that credit-fed booms are unsustainable and that this Keynesian "hair of the dog" strategy (in which we don't take just a little whiskey, but drink an entire case) is doomed to failure.

Ironically, in the name of "avoiding the mistakes of the 1930s," our government is taking us down the same path that Hoover and FDR took us. Happy Unemployment, America.

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