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Sunday, 24th February 2008

Still Stimulating Like It’s 1999

Still Stimulating Like It’s 1999
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute

Facing an economic downturn and an election, politicians of both parties seek to stimulate consumer demand— and some business investment—through political action. If the early 2008 “Stimulus Package” does not succeed, they promise there will be “more to come.”

As in recent stimulus campaigns—for example, during the first terms of presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush—politicians almost uniformly accept the legitimacy of government stimulus and rarely ponder the future economic harm such intervention may cause.

Genuine stimulus would entail liberalization of the economy from excessive regulations, interventions, and spending, and from political inflation of the money supply. It would maintain the conditions—legal order, minimal regulations, and stable institutions—within which wealth can be created while recognizing that governments do not themselves create wealth.

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