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...