Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Economic Stimulation, Part II

Some great discussions going on in the Comments section of my previous post - click on over and check them out if you get a chance. They got me thinking about a few other things on this topic.

Maybe this makes me a communist, but I'm not sure economic stimulation (i.e. government intervention) is all it's cracked up to be. That is, I think economies work best when they're left alone, and allowed to self-correct. That includes allowing the occasional downturn.

That probably makes me a free market capitalist, doesn't it?

(I'm actually a distributist, if you're really interested in what sort of economic -ist I am).

Anyway, this situation reminds me of a recent Newsweek article about the value of sadness. Healthy people have a variety of emotions, and get sad when sad things happen. Being happy all the time isn't all it's cracked up to be, but the psychiatric community has a tendency to view sadness as pathological and in need of medical intervention. Divorcing? Here, have some Zoloft. But there's a growing backlash against treating sorrow as a disorder (and a number of new books out, making that case). I wonder if perhaps economies should be allowed to get the blues periodically. Maybe that's a sign of health? Maybe the economy is doing what it's supposed to be doing. Maybe it's a market correction?

In any case, if we really think economic stimulation by the government is good and necessary, what's more economically stimulating than helping those at the bottom of the spectrum?

More to the point, I think serving the poor, hungry and needy is more important than boosting middle class economic fortunes, no matter how much my master bathroom needs to be refurbished.

I hope others will join in...

9 comments:

Kim said...

Maybe this makes me a socialist, but I think that pooling all this money together may help the economy, or least society in general, more than splitting it up to be spent individually. If each county got the money than schools could be improved, heating costs could be subsidized, parks could be built, etc.

Kim said...

P.S. If we do end up getting these checks, then I do totally agree with you as to what to do with the money. :)

Dad said...

Hi Dan: I think it means you are a, independent thinker and philosopher and a 'concerned and practical citizen and dare I say a 'Christian humanist' and ultimately, an all around good guy. Dad

Mark said...

Yep, Kim - I think that makes you a socialist. But don't worry, I still love you. :)

Kim said...

So if Dan is a communist and I'm a socialist, what does that make you?

Mark said...

Ahhh, the plight of the middle child! Always assumed to be somewhere along the big-brother/little-sister spectrum. :)

Capitalism for me, thanks. Personal responsibility vs government intervention. Social programs reserved for those who can't help themselves, not for those who won't help themselves or just don't do as good a job at it as others. That's the political/economic side. Now morally, I am right there with you guys on an obligation to share what we have with others - even beyond our own comfort zone. But we (you, me, etc) should be the only ones deciding with whom, how much, and when we share. Not some bloated, inefficient, corrupted bureaucracy.

PS - I just read that the checks are coming in May. And that they are considered an early refund of your 2008 taxes. So this time next year, you will be looking at less refund, because you already got it. So nobody is really being "given" anything new - they're just shifting the timelines a bit.

Kim said...

Mark, you're another one who needs to get a blog. Oh wait, you have already have one. Get blogging! (hands on hips and foot stomp for some extra little sister emphasis)

Mark said...

I'm too busy commenting on your blogs to blog my own!

Gabe said...

Chistian Humanist.....hmmmmm........I like that term....I like it a lot!