Hindsight (OR Why is no one saying “If only”)

Marketplace had a story about Ben Bernanke urging congressional consideration of another stimulus package. That got me thinking about the apparent failure of the last one, and I meant to post about it… honest!

But, since I’ve been slacking Dean Baker beat me to it:

[I]f Congress has [sic] […] directed its stimulus toward infrastructure, much of this spending would now be kicking in, providing a substantial boost to the economy.

That, also, is the kind of stimulus that Paul Krugman is now recommending:

And this is also a good time to engage in some serious infrastructure spending, which the country badly needs in any case. The usual argument against public works as economic stimulus is that they take too long: by the time you get around to repairing that bridge and upgrading that rail line, the slump is over and the stimulus isn’t needed. Well, that argument has no force now, since the chances that this slump will be over anytime soon are virtually nil. So let’s get those projects rolling.


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