Forgotten man

Because I'm an amateur economist (and not an academically-documented highly-skilled professional), I won't be invited any time soon to a black-tie conclave of dismal scientific experts to join in the debate over tax cuts versus government spending. That's just as well; I'd toss some unwelcome organic material into the punchbowl. I'd argue that the correct answer to tax cuts versus government spending is: neither.

I'd suggest, economic recovery will come at the hands of those who are presently the targets of professional-economist opprobrium: the average American producer/consumer/taxpayer, who isn't spending any more as the experts think he should.

The whole multi-tranche billion-dollar-plus "stimulus" (or "porkulus" package as Rush Limbaugh calls it) proposal is aimed at enticing the recalcitrant peasants to get spending again; it's a reprise of the "You Auto Buy Now" expertly-devised slogan of the 1958 recession.

"That's the whole point," says the new President Obama. He and his coterie of experts are mightily annoyed that the money-from-government to some-taxpayers rebate-stimulus of last year wasn't spent as they wished-disregarding the after-the-fact conclusion of FDR's Treasury Secretary Morgenthau . He admitted in 1939 that after seven years of New Deal "stimulus" there was no parallel decline in unemployment stats. "We spent and it didn't work."

My guess is that this time the stimulus-objective is a return to recent (exuberant) consumer spending levels, when such activity made up just over 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product. They have overtly stated the spending-level part of that goal but not the GDP part.

With due deference to the highly-credentialed economists, I'd suggest that consumer spending at 70 percent of GDP (which has been only a recent, and not a long-term, economic phenomenon) is a truly questionable objective.

The forgotten man of the Great Depression-the guy who struggled through a decade of New Deal supposed stimulative cures which only made matters worse-was smarter than all those Keynesians; he or his descendants is/are smarter than they (or their descendants) now.

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