Yes, the economic news shows signs of improvement, but we’re not out of the woods. There are economists who are grading the stimulus and seeing signs it did boost the economy even tho a small portion of it has been spent. There’s a good explanation at NPR of why the unemployment rate fell for the first time in fifteen months. The news isn’t all bad anymore, and a depression was avoided, but we’re still in the deepest recession since WWII.
It seems like there are two camps on the question posed by the title of this thread. Paul Krugman holding the first position that the stimulus was too small (we will not go there, for those of you thinking innuendo), and the second camp, mainly composed of conservatives, who complain that the results of the stimulus has not helped that much and is producing crushing debt. It would seem to me that evidence for both positions could be found.
See this link: http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/07/second-stimulus-debate-geithner-vs.html
I have never taken an economics class, but I am impressed by the fuzziness of the discipline. I am interested in psychology, so I am reasonably tolerant of methodological uncertainty. Is there such a thing as experimental economics?
If we look at history, one interpretation is that the stimulus programs of FDR in the 1930’s were successful, in at least making a bad situation less worse. Does that sound familiar, or not?
Amity Shlaes suggests that the FDR administration’s hostility toward wealthy people and the ineffectiveness of government interventions actually prolonged the great depression. In fairness RE: this source, Shlaes is a conservative Wall Street Journal editorial commentator.
So, who is correct in their assessment? The right, the left, both, or neither – please offer your opinion; it can’t be any worse or better than those out there already. Thanks!