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Economics is not a religion

03/01/2009

Sitting at a traffic light yesterday, listening to Rush Limbaugh’s speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee, I saw pick-up trucks go by, helpful for small cargoes. I saw 18-wheelers go by, helpful for large cargoes. I saw cement trucks, refrigerated trucks, and even a fire engine — all helpful tools for specialized missions.

Some people, especially politicians, see economics as a religion, rather than a tool box. If you are trying to get the economy out of a deep ditch, Keynesian economics has a proven track record. If you are trying to stimulate a sluggish, under-performing economy, supply-side economics has a proven track record. If you are dealing with a specialized mission, such as inflation/deflation, monetarism has a proven track record.

There is a difference between a flathead screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver, and each tool accomplishes a specific mission.

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