No, that's not stimulus
Some interesting discussion at NRO today
on FDR vs Obama, and the effects of Keynes and stimulus.
For some reason this clarified a point that Polistra has almost
made before, but didn't quite hit square.
Here's another try:
What FDR did was not Keynesian stimulus.
He didn't simply pour money into the economy and hope it bubbled up elsewhere. What FDR did was permanent rebuilding.
He started with an America where both agriculture and industry were running into problems, an America where too many good people were jobless.
One problem was an out-of-control investment system that served its own purposes at the expense of industry and farmers. FDR changed laws to clamp down on Wall Street, forcing it to serve the real economy better.
Another problem was an infrastructure that prevented agriculture and industry from expanding. We needed better roads and wider distribution of electricity to make automobiles, farm shipments, and labor-saving gadgets more practical. FDR set about improving the road system and electric system. Those expenditures are what we now call 'stimulus', but they bear exactly zero relationship to the modern use of stimulus.
And of course the rebuilding was designed to create the maximum number of family-supporting jobs.
What we're doing now is the opposite. Instead of regulating the banks, we're stimulating them to do more evil. And instead of rebuilding necessary parts of our infrastructure to encourage industry, we're just funding Federal and State government programs, stimulating them to continue spending wildly for no particular gain. (We are, however, building new infrastructure in enemy countries like Iraq and Pakistan, so they can fight against us more effectively in the future.)
We're not removing roadblocks and we're not building roads.
Polistra has already given
the recipe for an FDR-style transformation of modern America.