Please! Don't do something!

While I don't want to get hysterical about hysteria, I do find hysteria very tedious.

Especially the high-decibel hysteria over the economy like that detailed here (quoting E.J. Dionne):

This is the third time in 100 years that support for taken-for-granted economic ideas has crumbled. The Great Depression discredited the radical laissez-faire doctrines of the Coolidge era. Stagflation in the 1970s and early '80s undermined New Deal ideas and called forth a rebirth of radical free market notions. What's becoming the Panic of 2008 will mean an end to the latest Capital Rules era.... In the campaign so far, John McCain has been clinging to the old economic orthodoxy while Barack Obama has proposed a modestly more active role for government.
(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

The economy has its own life cycles, and the less role the government plays, the better. Hysteria fuels cycles of political hyperventilation, which generate ever-shriller calls for the government to "do something!" Never mind that the Great Depression was triggered and prolonged by the government doing something, or that the subprime scandal would never have happened had the government not done something (encouraging bad loans guaranteed by the taxpayers).

If only hysteria resulted in demands that the government stop doing something.

posted by Eric on 07.12.08 at 12:32 PM










Comments

It is clear history that the US economy has expanded more than usual following tax cuts by:

Coolidge
Kennedy
Reagan
Bush

Its worst contraction was from tax increases under Hoover and Rooseveldt, added by monetary contraction by the Federal Reserve Board.

Pretty clear history of the results of experiments on the US economy.

Whitehall   ·  July 12, 2008 1:48 PM

Yeah, great idea, the economy's struggling so let's save it by going to socialism. Because as we all know, capitalism cannot possibly weather a period of slow growth.

Whadda maroon.

Steve Skubinna   ·  July 12, 2008 6:36 PM

Sanity is optional.

Beck   ·  July 19, 2008 9:10 PM

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