The new stimulus package

by Russ Roberts on January 6, 2009

in Stimulus

The Washington Post reports:

The government’s billion-dollar program to help people prepare for the
transition to digital television has run out of money, potentially
leaving millions of viewers without coupons to buy converter boxes they
need to keep their analog TV sets working after the switch.

So guess what people are going to do? They’re going to buy new digital televisions, saving the economy. Brilliant.

You know what’s next? Government workers will come into your and trash your current television with a sledge hammer. Result? More stimulus! People will have to buy more televisions! Then we’ll save the auto industry. Sales are way down. The automakers are broke. No problem. Just force people to turn in their cars. Don’t melt them down and get something useful in return. Just destroy them. Car sales will go through the roof! The economy will be saved!

It is important to remember, as my co-host Don likes to point out, that it’s easy to create jobs. The hard part is creating productive jobs. Jobs alone do not create prosperity. Creating wasteful jobs reduces our standard of living.


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