Rocky Vega

This news story should have come as a surprise, but it’s become easy to expect economists to change their minds after the facts contradict their earlier opinions. In that sense, few things seem as consistent as economists’ inconsistency.

After hearing them clamor so long for new stimulus and additional bailouts, we now hear they’ve changed their tune. The government-supplied “antidote” to the financial crisis was initially hailed as saving the nation, and perhaps the entire world, from depression. Now, a new survey of economists shows that they have actually decided, in looking back, that the whole stimulus basically wasn’t needed.

This from CNN/Money:

“In [the] latest quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics, the index that measures employment showed job growth for the first time in two years — but a majority of respondents felt the fiscal stimulus had no impact.

“NABE conducted the study by polling 68 of its members who work in economic roles at private-sector firms. About 73% of those surveyed said employment at their company is neither higher nor lower as a result of the $787 billion Recovery Act, which the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers says is on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year.

“That sentiment is shared for the recently passed $17.7 billion jobs bill that calls for tax breaks for businesses that hire and additional infrastructure spending. More than two-thirds of those polled believe the measure won’t affect payrolls, while 30% expect it to boost hiring ‘moderately.’”

According to this survey, not even economists believe in the stimulus charade. Or, in the jobs bill for that matter. The facts on the ground — at their very own firms — simply show otherwise. On the upside, if economists, of all people, are finally skeptical of printing our way to economic nirvana, then maybe there’s a chance that the meddling will slow. 

You can read more details in CNN/Money’s coverage of how economists now say that the stimulus didn’t help.

Best,

Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning

Rocky Vega

Rocky Vega is publisher of Agora Financial International, where he advances the growth of Agora Financial publishing enterprises outside of the US. Previously, he was publisher of The Daily Reckoning, and founding publisher of both UrbanTurf and RFID Update -- which he ran from Brazil, Chile, and Puerto Rico -- as well as associate publisher of FierceFinance. Rocky has an honors MS from the Stockholm School of Economics and an honors BA from Harvard University, where he served on the board of directors for Let?s Go Publications, Harvard Student Agencies, and The Harvard Advocate.

  • tony bonn

    oh come on now….stimulus spending is always de rigeur….the problem with the 17.7 billion usd jobs bill is the unit of measure…..of course a piddly 17.7 b usd will do nothing….but make it 17.7 trillion usd then we be talking stimulus….

  • BTH

    In an interview with FactCheck.org, NABE spokeswoman Melissa Golding said to broadly declare the stimulus a failure based on the survey would be inaccurate. “We were asking them to measure the impact of the federal stimulus on their particular firm or industry,” she said. “It was very specific to their firm or industry.”

    If you think about the design of the survey and compare it to this article, you will see the author of the CNN/Money misrepresented the results. And this author perpetuated and expanded upon this misrepresentation.

    The 1st Amendment is an enormous responsibility. It only works if the Journalists live up to its standards.

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