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What If What You Knew Was Wrong?

What if what you knew was wrong? What if you had a set of political beliefs that you could translate into actionable policy? What if you acquired so much political power that you could actually put those policies into play – and then they failed? What if you believed that using public monies to mitigate the impact of economic recession would lead to higher employment than allowing the markets to clear of malinvestment on their own? Recent results from the Obama Stimulus Plan suggest this traditional policy wisdom has proven at least partially wrong.

So what then do you do? If you are an employee of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, you release the report on July 1. This is done preferably at or around 1500 hours; after every government employee in America has gotten the infamous “59- Minute Rule.”

…the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job. In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.

Supporters of the stimulus claim that these 2.4mil jobs would never have been created without the benign stewardship of are fraternal government. They’re here to help us, you see. Opponents see it differently.

They claim these jobs would have indeed been created – just at a later date than the jobless would have wanted or needed. In other words, if these Stimulus Denialists were right, you could make a better logical case for mailing out checks and tiding people over than you could for the Chula Vista Dog Walk, The Private Jet Accelerated Depreciation Allowance, or any of the other garbage the Obama Stimulus Plan entailed.

One of the details that buried in this report as if it were shovel-ready is the following.

Furthermore, the council reports that, as of two quarters ago, the “stimulus” had added or saved just under 2.7 million jobs — or 288,000 more than it has now. In other words, over the past six months, the economy would have added or saved more jobs without the “stimulus” than it has with it. In comparison to how things would otherwise have been, the “stimulus” has been working in reverse over the past six months, causing the economy to shed jobs.

I’m not sure I personally buy the last sentence. It seems speculative and my speculation of why the economy is sputtering post-Stimulus is different. I’m thinking that the money that went towards creating Stimulus jobs would have still gone towards job creation had the private sector been left un-stimulated.

This would have gone more slowly than people in trouble would have liked, but the net effect would have involved more jobs created. The Obama Stimulus “crashed”, or unnaturally accelerated, the rate at which money was spent on employment creation. Anytime you “crash” a project schedule, the per unit cost of output goes up. Attempting to create the jobs more rapidly than the economy would naturally have supported caused these jobs to be less plentiful and cost more than what would have happened otherwise.

The First Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar, was once quoted as saying “Festina Lente.” According to the Roman Historian Suetonius, this was Augustus’ way of telling his military leadership that mankind does not have the power to borrow time from God. The world will operate on its own pace, contrary to our wishes, needs or most fervent desires.

Nobody, not even The Lightworker, can change this pace of celestial movement. It is the fatal conceit of the Post-Modern age to believe otherwise. Perhaps I too should have written this after 3Pm, Friday, July 1st. It would avoid the unnecessary fireworks of informing remarkably well-educated people that their world views were archaic, destructive and wrong.

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