Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Always Knew "Rock the Vote" Wasn't Neutral

So the non-profit that is constantly seeking my generation's input in politics is taking a stance on the stimulus issue. Considering that they spend most of their resources in seeking the vote of college students, it's curious that their endorsement is so uneducated and I'd bet none of them ever took a basic economics course. But college kids and senators make the same mistakes sometimes in becoming hooked on legal addictive stimulants, whether coffee or so-called "recovery packages."

The mass e-mail of the week said this:
"Earlier today, President Obama signed into law the economic recovery plan, the biggest and boldest investment in America’s economy we’ve seen in 40 years.

Seriously, this is a big deal. Our economy is in freefall - we lost 3.6 million jobs in the past year - and a major fix is needed, now.

President Obama’s plan will inject billions of dollars into the economy - almost all of it this year and next - which leading economists say is desperately needed to create jobs and get people spending again. ...Democrats and Republicans alike have made clear the plan will help stop worst case job losses and budget cuts in their states."
They then go on to cite all the "big and bold" things the stimulus package will supposedly do for us (though they do neglect to cite how we'll pay for it all.)

As much as I could nit-pick this whole little e-mail apart, I think the thing that stands out to me is the bit in the middle paragraph, "a major fix is needed, now." If there's anything I've learned in my recent love affair with economic thought, it's that practically speaking, you can't make big changes now.

They all talk as if the economy is a single-celled organism that can be revitalized within four years (conveniently in time for reelection...hm.) Unfortunately, the quick-fix benefits don't outlast the consequences. Problem with this $787 billion stimulant is that, just like your favorite grande Americano with an extra shot and no room, the effects wear off...and you're left with a pretty damn horrible headache in the end.

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