David Brooks Pretends He’s An Economist. He’s Not
There is a worldwide debate going on over whether to stimulate the economy with spending and tax cuts or to focus on deficits. There are merits to both sides. David Brooks at the New York Times, instead of acknowledging these merits, would rather make fun of those in favor of a stimulus. Calling them “Demand Siders” Brooks writes:
These Demand Siders have very high I.Q.’s, but they seem to be strangers to doubt and modesty….Moreover, the Demand Siders write as if everybody who disagrees with them is immoral or a moron.
Brooks opines, “There is no way to know whether the last stimulus worked because we don’t know what would have happened without it.” That’s like saying “We don’t know whether birth control works because we don’t know what would have happened without it.” Economists agree that the last stimulus worked and helped stave off an even worse recession.
At the end of his column Brooks comes out in support of extending unemployment benefits and giving more aid to states.
You need a program modeled on Race to the Top. You will provide federal money now to states that pass responsible long-term budget plans that will reduce spending and pension commitments. That would save public-sector jobs and ease contractionary pressures without throwing the country into a fiscal-debt spiral.
I’m very glad to see him come back to reality.Click here for reuse options!
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