Thursday, 29 January 2009

Economists against the "stimulus"

Major newspapers across the United States have been carrying a full page advertisement, paid for by the Cato Institute, with a strong statement signed by many economists, including a number of Nobel laureates, against President Obama's stimulus package. It quotes Obama's statement:
There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy.
Actually there is quite a bit of disagreement. As Greg Mankiw wrote recently
As I have documented on this blog in recent weeks, skeptics about a spending stimulus include quite a few well-known economists, such as (in alphabetical order) Alberto Alesina, Robert Barro, Gary Becker, John Cochrane, Eugene Fama, Robert Lucas, Greg Mankiw, Kevin Murphy, Thomas Sargent, Harald Uhlig, and Luigi Zingales--and I am sure there many others as well.
There are many others, and a number of them signed the above statement.


Bluegrass Pundit said...

Stimulus bill moves us closer to nationalized health care and rationing

The House of Representatives approved an $819 billion economic stimulus package Wednesday. The party line vote was a blow to Barack Obama's alleged desire for bipartisanship. All the Republicans and 11 democrats voted against the bill. One thing in the bill that went mostly unnoticed was a new bureaucracy called the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research.

Matt Nolan said...

Indeed - I find it irritating when people act as if there is a consensus behind a fiscal stimulus. In truth the issue is far from settled.