by the Sandwichman
In his "Tour of German Inflation" (in One-Way Street), Walter Benjamin singled out the expression, "things can't go on like this" as exemplifying the "stupidity and cowardice constituting the mode of life of the German bourgeois". Embedded in the expression is the unfounded conviction that, somehow or other, unpleasant conditions cannot be enduring ones. However, as Benjamin noted, "to decline is no less stable, no more surprising, than to rise."
Yesterday, in the New York Times, nine economists weighed in on what, in their opinion, would constitute the ideal stimulus package, given the constraints of a $500 billion total to be either spent, returned in tax cuts or some combination of the two. Of course, the underlying premise of any stimulus package is the growthodox conviction that "things can't go on like this" -- that the accustomed "economic growth" of the recent past should be the norm and interruption of that growth can only be an anomaly.
Get over it, suckers. Bernie Madoff had the economic stimulus package meme down pat. Madoff's estimated $50 billion Ponzi scheme was already 10% of the proposed $500 billion package. O.K., then, in twenty five words or less, what's the difference between a stimulus package and a Ponzi scheme (bearing in mind the operative concept, "German Inflation"; see also "Uh Oh...")?