More on the Stimulus
I’ve been a bit quiet here for a few days, but have still been active elsewhere, mostly talking about a subject you’ve heard me say plenty about: the need for another fiscal stimulus. Most recently, it was a debate on CNN, with Reihan Salam:
It turned out to be a funny debate: despite coming from very different starting points, Reihan and I ended up agreeing on just about everything, although he was easily more articulate. (Okay, I was basically dreadful, but to be fair, trying to debate in a dark studio where you can see nothing but a light and your own reflection can be pretty weird.) On the substance, Reihan provided easily the best conservative-friendly argument for a stimulus I’ve heard, arguing:
The bigger thing is, there is a danger when people are unemployed for six months or longer. They get disconnected from the mainstream economy. And a job is the best kind of social program. We need to emphasize job creation as directly as possible.
He’s dead right.
I also spent Tuesday of last week debating the stimulus with Harvard’s Jeffrey Miron, for Marty Moss-Coane‘s wonderful NPR program Radio Times. The full hour-long debate is available here. And full credit to Jeff for giving what I thought was the most articulate libertarian argument against the stimulus that I’ve heard. The discussion is useful largely because Jeff is completely honest — willing to articulate just what it is about the evidence that leads him to a different conclusion.