A Homeopathic Stimulus Programme
Might be better than the astonishing mess that is being rammed through the complexities of US legislative processes as I write.
Of course homeopathy is complete bunk. There is not a shred of reliable, tested evidence that it works. So how is it that in at least two instances, the Spanish Flu Epidemic of the early 1990s, and the London cholera epidemic of 1854, homeopathic hospitals had markedly better recovery rates than standard hospitals?
The answer is that many of the traditional treatments for those diseases, bleeding, purging, etc, were actively harmful. The homeopathic remedies did nothing. Nothing was better.
Ditto for economic stimulus proposals. The traditional treatment amongst liberals for a slowing economy is to take money from some people and give it to other people, and encourage them to spend it. This is actively harmful, because the people from whom the money is taken are in large part those who are employing others, making useful products, or providing useful services. Penalising these people and organisations is massively counter-productive, to the point of outright stupidity.
Like it or not, every working economy depends on profitable businesses. The way to stimulate economic activity is to encourage those who are productive through tax cuts, by making it easier to employ people, and by reducing the costs of doing business, including compliance costs. If governments can’t do something useful, they should at least have the decency to do nothing. Nothing would be better.
Roger Kimball reports some interesting stimulus (as opposed to porkulus) proposals from Rush Limbaugh. The difference is, his suggestions might actually work.