It’s been just over a year since the Obama Administration kicked off Recovery Summer ’10 to great fanfare. Despite the media hype, the “recovery” has fizzled. Hundreds of billions of dollars of stimulus and innumerable silly and wasteful programs (Cash for Clunkers?) later, we’re still sitting at an unpleasant 9.1% unemployment rate. Clearly, something didn’t work quite as intended.
The stimulus’s failure to stimulate has come as quite a shock to the Fourth Estate. You’ve seen the headlines: Unemployment unexpectedly higher. Turnaround unexpectedly sluggish. Breadlines blocks long, unexpectedly. “Unexpected” has been so overused to describe our current economic situation that it borders on self-parody. Check out this helpful “Unexpectedly” Compilation at Pundit Press if you don’t believe me.
But now for a bit of truly unexpected news: academics are beginning to realize – or at least admit publicly – that our most recent attempt at government-driven recovery via stimulus has flopped. Ed Morrissey’s coverage at Hot Air is worth a read, because this phenomenon is significant.
In an intellectual and political landscape where economic thought is still dominated by the interventionist policies of Keynesianism, the admission that those policies have failed on a grand scale should send shock waves though academia. Moreover, as Morrissey notes, Stanford economist John Taylor shoots down the argument that the stimulus would have worked wonders if only it had been larger – a form of backpedaling made popular by the likes of that intrepid fool/partisan hack, Paul Krugman.
Now that our intellectual betters have admitted what many of us knew to be true all along, it would be wonderful (and delightfully unexpected) to see academia shift towards the free market policies that will actually revive the nation’s economy. Here’s hoping.