Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Kerquillionty Dollars

The logic behind the stimulus program is that the government needs to steal money from some taxpayers (or borrow from bond investors under the presumption that it will be stolen from future taxpayers) and give it to other people. This transfer of wealth from one group to another, we are told by Nobel prize winning economists, will somehow "stimulate" the economy. With this in mind, the government launched a $787 Billion spending spree earlier this year.

Of course, in earlier posts [1],[2],[3], I debunked the economic logic behind the stimulus and demonstrated that not only is it logically futile, it is actually destructive - an argument that a six year old could understand but apparently not a modern economics professor. Naturally, a debate is now under way about whether or not to enact further stimulus.

If their logic is correct, and expropriating the wealth and capital of some and redistributing it to others will somehow generate economic growth, then I agree with them that we need more. In fact, it appears to be a huge mistake that they only spent $787 Billion. Why did they stop there? Under their reasoning, wouldn't $788 Billion have been even more stimulative? Wouldn't $1 trillion have been really, really stimulative? How about $10 trillion?! The more spending, the more the stimulus to the economy, right?

I propose that the government enact a stimulus program so stimulating that it will stimulate the entire world economy for the next 1,000 years! It will be so stimulating that we will never have to worry about innovating or improving productivity ever again - concepts once thought to underlie real economic growth. In fact, the number I have come up with doesn't even exist yet. Here is the amount that I propose the government steal, borrow, and/or print:

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

I only stopped because reality demands that I stop somewhere if I want to finish this post. I don't know if this number has a name so I have dubbed it a "Kerquillionty Dollars". See, it was so simple. Now, go enjoy being stimulated.

2 comments:

Anthony said...

I'm glad you added the "borrow from bond investors" possibility. That struck me as missing from your first analysis of the stimulus programs.

Doug Reich said...

Anthony,

To which post are you referring? I addressed it specifically in "Obama, please try this at home"