Why the Stimulus Shouldn't Stimulate You
By Steven E. LandsburgSunday
As a general rule, economic policies command bipartisan support only when they're incoherent. Take, for example, the fiscal stimulus package now bulldozing its way through the legislative process. It's poorly conceived, it's unlikely to work, and it's sure to do a lot of collateral damage.
The idea, we're told, is to stave off an all-out recession by stimulating both investment (through tax cuts for businesses) and consumption (through tax rebates to individuals). But hold it right there.
Investment and consumption are natural rivals.
Investment means converting resources into machines and factories; consumption means converting those same resources into TV sets and motorboats. In anything but the very short run, more of one means less of the other.