Short version, bulletpointed for the powerpoint generation:
- Economics is about STUFF created...(and stuff includes services).
- Some folks get confused that money is the issue, rather than the stuff. They're wrong.
- Right now, a metric ass-ton of STUFF isn't getting created.
- This is despite the fact that we lots of workers aren't working AND lots of workplaces are short-staffed.
- This is hideous, horrendous, bad. Fix it now at ANY cost.
We have people who would be working but are instead watching Judge Judy. We have machines that could be spinning but are literally rusting for lack of use. This is a coordination disaster.This is why we have the field of Macro. FWIW, I think Karl is in the Scott Sumner camp...NGDP targeting. I think this post pushed me over the edge to the first ever case of Aretae suggesting government action -- Target NGDP like Sumner says. All Fed, No elected officials.
The question is how do we end this thing as quickly as possible. How do we stop wasting our basic resources (men and machines), day-after-day, month-after-month, year-after-year.
So when I hear this debate drift oft into how Republicans don’t appreciate the value of infrastructure – I suffer infinite eye roll. This is the time for this? You would watch the core economy grind down while you argue over the need to fix a pothole!
When I hear the GOP running some nonsense about how Obamacare is scaring small business I find myself beating back the desire for autodefenestration. Can we let this go already! There are real issues that need to be dealt with.
Now maybe some people want to explain to me how what appears to be a massive market failure is actually something else: a skill mismatch, a great recalculation, etc. I am willing to have that debate.
Of those that agree that this is the result of insufficient aggregate demand we can debate the fastest means of spurring such demand: aggressive monetary policy, payroll tax cuts, something else we haven’t thought of – I am all ears.
However, these are the limits of rational disagreement.
Side arguments that are basically proxy battles for your general theory of government are sadistic tribalistic grandstanding. You chatter and dawdle while Rome burns.