Delong’s solution

Brad DeLong, an economist greatly respected by the Cathedral, thinks the government is not blowing enough money.

He presents a graph predicting, plausibly enough, that unemployment is going to stay high for a long time. So, he concludes the benevolent government should put those people to work – without, however, worrying as to what they will be doing, forgetting that people should work to produce the particular goods and services that other people want, or perhaps confidently believing that the wise folk of the government have lots of useful work for idle people to do, forgetting that a large part of the unemployed are unemployed because they were producing things, such as financial services or housing for non asian minorities, that the recipients are demonstrably unwilling to pay for.

His conclusion will doubtless further improve his immense status with the rest of the Cathedral, whereas were he to doubt the capability of fellow Cathedral members to put the lower orders to useful work this would with equal swiftness diminish that status

One Response to “Delong’s solution”

  1. Deep Lurker says:

    Another possibility is that he believes the details of “what people want” to be arbitrary, manipulable, and therefore not very important. The important thing is to get stuff produced; once it’s there it will be easy to get people to pay for it.

    And if the process gives the Wise and the Good a greater say in what gets produced, so much the better.

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