Aug
09
2011

A hopefully helpful ‘stimulus’ analogy.

I would like to offer this analogy, for anybody out there dealing with an individual or individuals who seem convinced that the problem with the 2009 ‘stimulus’ was that it was not large enough:

Imagine, if you will, you have a friend, and he’s a drunk.  And he’s in trouble: he needs five hundred bucks to get out from under his bills, but he doesn’t have it, and things get a little worse every month because of it.  So you give him five hundred bucks… and he goes on an epic bender.  Now, here’s the question: would he have been fine if you had given him five hundred bucks for the bender, and another five hundred for his bills?  Or a thousand?  Of course not: doubling or tripling the money that you gave him would have just meant that he would have gone on a longer bender, with better ingredients.

Because that’s what drunks do.  That’s why they’re considered drunks.

Just in case the analogy is unclear: far too many people who espouse Keynesian economic theory (more accurately, their interpretation of Keynesian economic theory) seem to be doing so under the assumption that you can trust the government to spend revenue in a rational, objective, and non-partisan fashion.  As both the stimulus and Obamacare shows, this is not a particularly sensible assumption – particularly when the Democrats are in charge of the process.  Government spending is inherently wasteful at best, and corrupting at worst.   And the effects get worse, the more you spend.

Hope this helps.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: I apologize to drunks everywhere for comparing them to the federal government.

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6 Comments

  • qixlqatl says:

    “PS: I apologize to drunks everywhere for comparing them to the federal government.”
    Whew, thought for a second there that you and I were about to have a **serious** problem…………

  • qixlqatl says:

    It’s actually an extremely good analogy, that holds up in all particulars that I can think of: addiction (and the excuses, lying, stealing, etc. that go along with it), the adverse health effects of over indulgence, and (especially) the consequences to the people associated with the addict, who in this case are inescapably financially responsible for all the addicts actions…..
    Crap, we are sooooo screwed.

  • MikeCG says:

    I’m picturing the Keynes vs. Hayek rap anthem from EconStories right now. :-D

  • Jim B says:

    I’ve been using a similar analogy when arguing with Lefties for some time, except I think it’s more effective to use heroin or crack rather than alcohol.

    After all, you can drink a whole lot of alocohol without it being a problem. On the other hand, even a little bit of crack or heroin can lead to a lifetime of addiction.

    And that’s a better analogy for the Democratic Party (and for too much of the Republican Party as well).

    As I recently said when arguing over whether or not tax increases should be part of any deficit reduction plan:

    “Show me you can get clean first. THEN we can talk about getting your finances in order. Until then, you’re just another junkie looking for a handout to get your next fix.”

  • Just Dave says:

    When I heard lefties trying to blame the credit downgrade on the Tea Party, I was put in mind of a quote by Charles Babbage (very slightly paraphrased for context):

    ~

    I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a comment.

    ~

    Source

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