I wasn't kidding
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 1:30 PM
In my post below I noted that it didn't matter whether or not people
were actually producing anything so long as they were employed. Here's
one supporter of the stimulus package who actually understands the
Keynesian economics he supports. It's Dean Baker from the left
wing/progressive Center for Economic and Policy Research being
interviewed on PBS.
"Well, basically, to put it crudely, you have to spend
money. You know, we heard a discussion, is this a good way to spend
money, sod on the mall? I mean, I actually don't mind the mall looking
nice. But the point is, you're employing people.
Even if it's
wasteful, there's a line -- you go back to Keynes -- there's a line
where he says, "We could pay people to dig holes and fill them up
again. At least we've employed them."
Now, ideally we are
employing people in useful things, and we should look it over and try
and make sure it's as useful as possible. But the key point is that we
want to spend a lot of money, probably actually a lot more than what's
talked about in this package. But we want to get that money out there
and do it quickly."
All these arguments about how the money is being spent, and whether this kind of spending will stimulate the economy or this kind won't is all besides the point. A good Keynesian knows that the whole idea is simply to spend--dig ditches and fill them back in again, build pyramids, it makes no difference. Hats off to Mr. Baker. While he is clearly a crummy economist, he does know his Keynesianism and right now that's where the money is.
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