Was the Stimulus a Dead Fish or a Live One?

Paul Krugman:

the stimulus can’t have failed, because it never happened. Once you take state and local cutbacks into account, there was no surge of government spending. Here’s total (all levels) government spending over the past 10 years:


The Great Abdication – NYTimes.com

Years ago –decades, actually– I read David Hackett Fischer’s “Historians Fallacies,” in which, as I recall, he cited one “happy monarch” (Charles II perhaps?) who liked to call his advisers together to ask such questions as why it was that a live fish placed into a bowl of water caused it to overflow, while a dead fish did not. Charles would happily watch as his council twisted their arguments into pretzels around a non-existent fact.

And here we are, sometime later, with all the president’s men arguing why the dead fish did not cause the economy to overflow.

This entry was posted in Economics, History, Politics, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Was the Stimulus a Dead Fish or a Live One?

  1. mhilm says:

    I love the story about the dead fish. Economics is a fzntasyland of amazing illusions. I suspect it’s rather like global warming – theory talks about climate, and people try to apply it to weather. I hadn’t heard the correlation of stimulus to budget cute before – now I need to do some research. Thanks for the insights.

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