29 February 2012

(Economic) Culture Sores

Alright, so I was off by two months.  

As best I recall, sometime this past December, I rashly confided to a select handful of friends (as if I have that many to begin with) how I thought the Dow would top 13000 before the year was up. Not, mind you, that I’m expecting it to remain there for any length of time. Or even, necessarily, anywhere near it again anytime soon. But what if it does, and more? Suppose this was the first jolt of a really sustained recovery, complete with jobs, rising home prices and (my imagination is staggering) negligible inflation. What would that mean? Would it prove that Quantitative Easing was working? That it had been the right approach all along? Or would it merely stand as evidence that, however secure any upturn produced by stimulus might seem, we’d be enjoying that much stronger and more lasting a recovery had we embraced policies of austerity a la Britain’s David Cameron?   

One thing is all but certain to me. If recovery does take hold, Democrats will chalk it up to the enduring wisdom of Old Man Keynes, and Republicans will blame it on the enduring profitability of domestic fossil fuels.

That’s the problem with wars of ideas. And especially nasty ones like our current orgies of self-congratulation on both sides. Truth isn't so much the first casualty as he is an unwanted guest sentenced to take all his meals with the children and the servants.   

Which, now that I think of it, is not at all a bad place for Truth to start re-disseminating. 

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