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    Stabby violence

    If the predictable awfulness of the stimulus bill is so predictably awful that you’re so incapable of getting worked up over it and kind of fear you’re dead inside, Reason.com asked a group of libertarian-leaning economists to descant on the many specific ways it promises to suck. Even Deirdre McCloskey, who’s usually good for at least one wicked laugh, doesn’t find much funny. She does note one of the ways we got here and will probably get here again:

    At less than full employment the Keynesian stuff works. So the minority of the quickie expenditures will “put people back to work”–until we return to almost-full employment, which will happen pretty quickly in the recovery. At that point the stimulus will merely crowd out private investment. In the short run people might get more cheerful, too, always a good thing. But in two years the recession will be over. And the myth will grow up–rather similar to the ones about FDR and war expenditure–that Obama did it. Essentially, Obama will get credit for the self-adjusting character of the economy. I reckon we should start preparing that other face of Mount Rushmore.

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