Warwick McKibbin’s lovely discussion of the stimulus is part of the growing recognition that what was done in the name of saving the economy from recession was, in fact, a form of madness for which we will pay long and hard. Say what you will, with the wisdom of hindsight it is hard to imagine any of the programs that were put in place at the start of 2009 getting the go ahead today.
Below is a chart by Veronique de Rugy from National Review Online which, as she says, is pretty well self explanatory. The green line is the stimulus expenditure, the yellow bars are the unemployment rate and the dotted line shows the maximum rate of unemployment that Obama said would have been reached had there been no stimulus. On this last matter but on few others, I am apt to believe the American President was right.
Not much any of us can do now other than put pressure on governments to wind the stimulus back. They have started this process everywhere but there are still a few holdouts, Australia being one. To ruin the mining industry to pretend that we are balancing the budget is pretty stupid. It just seems one bad idea leads to another.