I was shaking my head just yesterday at how readily some people have been swallowing the “stimulus saved us” story.  From what I can gather, those figures include almost exclusively public service jobs.  Assuming that is true, the 650,000 “jobs” were not created in any sense of the word as I use it.  They are just your garden variety public jobs.  Note that I said “assume.”  Yesterday, several news organizations questioned the job figures–so much so that the White House plans to issue a clarification today.  Can’t wait for that.  Politicians trying to clarify the absurd is always entertaining.

Further complicating matters is the ambiguity of those reports.  Joe Biden called them “saved” jobs a while back.  This was a new entry in the lexicon of gov-speak, and no one (except maybe Biden) is quite sure how you measure that.  I have a friend who did not lose his job–was he counted?  If you did not lose yours, please call Biden’s office to make sure you were included.

While we are on the topic of measuring, the government has a well-documented history of changing measures when it results in a more favorable view of the economy.  Check out for a look at how much mischief has been wrought by changing measures over the years.

Lord only knows why anyone would believe that a genuine recovery could be due to this kind of stimulus anyway.  The money that is now floating around and allegedly creating jobs is all fake–created out of thin air.  If you dare venture from the silly to the frighteningly unintelligible, check out how fractional reserve banking works.  Don’t call me when you can’t sleep.

A good friend asked me this morning what I thought our resulting debt would be from all the wonderful help our government is giving us.  This mystery ranks right up there with quantum physics and why Ginger left the Spice Girls.  In addition to government’s finagling with measures, the Fed refused last November to identify recipients of the $2 trillion dollar bailout.  To my knowledge, they have not done so since.  In point of fact, we simply do not know how much fiat money has been issued or where it went.  Not the bailout, not the stimulus, not anything.  The only sure answer is “a hell of a lot.”  Sorry, Ann.  Wish I had a better answer.

In my view, we are taking our last hit of heroin before we go into a coma.  Any stimulating effect has been from the shot of fiat money injected into the system.  Whether we wake up or die will depend on whether we recover our senses and go back toward true free-market capitalism or submit ourselves to some form of tyranny made possible by a steadily worsening crisis.  Make no mistake–tyrants love this kind of opportunity.

We have only our own gullibility to blame.  The very fact that much of America accepts the government’s explanations is deeply disturbing.  This applies to all recent administrations–I defend neither Democrats nor Republicans.  Both sides are rife with corruption and stupidity.  Until we call them on it and refuse to allow them to continue, we get what we deserve.

–Terry writes this blog pretty much weekly unless he is on tour with Chippendales.  He hopes you will help spread the gospel of limited government by recommending this blog to others.  That way he can become famous and give up dancing for a living.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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