Here is a little thought for you to take with you over the weekend … doesn’t the entire stimulus discussion and discussion of future Fed action and Treasury action (such as an additional $4 trillion in capital for failing banks) sound a lot like the “debate” we had about whether or not we should go to war in Iraq. Remember that we were told that we should support the war in the spirit of unity and bipartisanship, just like the current Administration is urging the same. Indeed, even the current Administration is making things up, just like the last one.
Bush claimed that there was a consensus of opinion that the war was necessary for our safety and security. Obama claimed recently that there is a consensus (even among economists, who famously cannot come to a consensus on anything) that a large and swift stimulus was necessary. In neither case was there proper deliberation. In neither cases were the voices of dissent heard or respected. In neither case was prudence and patience followed. And in neither case is there any serious thinking about the long-term consequences of “doing something.” Partisans on both sides will cherry pick each of these stories to their delight … but there is no difference.
Always and everywhere is the state going to expand its power grab – and no better time than during a supposed “crisis” to do such a thing to avoid the opposition of a sleepy and scared public. Rahm Emmanuel was not the first person to make this point …
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
That was H.L. Mencken some 100 years ago – and need I add that whether they are imaginary or not is not the relevant point.