One of the great debates today between left and right is whether government stimulus is worth it. The left says “yes, early and often.” And the right says “only in the right circumstances.” Unsurprisingly, both left and right are completely off — stimulus is the quickest way to impoverish an economy.
Stimulus isn’t some magical leprechaun dropping ice cream and puppies from heaven — it’s merely redistribution of resources. Stimulus is taking from those who have and giving to the government’s pals.
So the question “does stimulus work?” is completely missing the point. Putting aside the injustice of redistributive theft, the productivity question is whether the guys who got the bidding tickets did more market-led investment than the guys whose tickets were devalued.
There is no economic reason to think mere redistribution would make us richer. In fact, there are excellent reasons that show redistribution hurts the economy. “Stimulus” itself is nothing more than widespread impoverishment so a clutch of politicians can buy friends.