Our government is preparing to pass something called a stimulus package. According to the experts, this stimulus package won't directly stimulate much of anything in the short term, when we need it. But with any luck it will bamboozle a hundred million morons into thinking their government did something useful, and that in turn will cause them to become more confident and spend additional money on cigarettes and lottery tickets, thus stimulating the economy.

The funny thing about this scheme is that it might work. The other funny thing is that no one is trying to hide the fact that the entire plan depends on bamboozling the aggressively ignorant portion of the population. We need to get those bozos spending again, and if it requires a fraudulent stimulus package to get it done, most people seem okay with that.

This is yet another situation where smart people are ironically incompetent if left to their own devices. If the world were populated only with the smart and well-informed, we'd all sit around waiting for someone else to spend money first, so they can take the highest risk. Eventually society would crumble and all of us geniuses would be eaten by rats. But if you throw a bunch of clueless bastards into the mix, suddenly the economy is supercharged. Money is flying everywhere, confidence becomes warranted, and the economy flourishes.

Our past economic booms depended heavily on morons. Those wonderful stimulators of the economy had to buy stock in perpetually unprofitable tech companies, or invest in real estate after it was clearly overpriced. Every economic boom is powered by the clueless. I see no reason why the next one should be different, except that the government is doing the bamboozling this time.

I plan to do my patriotic duty by no longer following the news coverage of the economic stimulus plan. This will allow me to imagine that all of the pork and special interest garbage will be removed from the final bill that gets approved. I will blissfully assume that the economic stimulation will be short term and effective. Oh, and long term and effective too. And then I, and my fellow ignorami, will spend, spend, spend our way out of this slump.

You're welcome.
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Feb 17, 2009
The question is whether the stimulus package will have the government hiring folks or they'll come in the form of private contractors, in which case we'll get ripped off. I read about it on www.jobscity.com
Feb 16, 2009
Oh, I'm wrong. Object of the preposition.
Feb 16, 2009
Scott Adams says:

"us geniuses"

Me genius, too! Grammar aside, perhaps this is payback for Adams and his coterie of brainiacs not stopping this slump when they could have. Or for not figuring out how to catapult that "lukewarm cadaver" (his words, not mine) through the window of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
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Feb 16, 2009
<i>According to the experts, this stimulus package won't directly stimulate much of anything in the short term, when we need it.</i>

Actually, in the final version of the bill, the White House successfully negotiated so that 75% of the $790 or so billion would be spent within 18 months after the bill is signed into law.
Feb 16, 2009
"A fool and his money are soon parted."

Take one stimulus package. Distribute it to as many fools as you can find. Success!

Of course, a nation of nothing but fools will blow itself up, or spend it all on solid-gold toilets.
Feb 16, 2009
Again, this is not a 'Democrat' plan, or a 'Liberal' one, it is merely MacroEconomics 101, a Keynesian recovery plan for a recession. Obama didn't make it up, it comes right out the text books. Have a recession you:
1. Lower interest rates.
2. Have the government spend as much money as it can.

Yeah is nice to spend it on stuff where you will have something for the spending afterwards but that is mrely nice. Look at the Republicans - when Reagan, and the 2 Bushes had recessions they did 3 things:
1. lowered interest rates.
2. gave out tax cuts as bright shinies to distract the population.
3. Did massive government spending on wars (Reagan - cold war, Bushes - middle east wars). Stealth stimulus packages that unfortunately give us very little as a nation in return for the spending.

If you don't like Keynesian economic theory then just say so, but the Democrats won the election, they do believe it will work and there is no way to compromise when going Keynsian since if you aren't going to spend enough money you might as well not spend any at all.

That's what annoys me about all these whiny discussions - a straight forward text book solution to a recession that is being presented as everything but what it is. There is no such thing as 'pork' in a stimulus bill - you could pay half the population to move a pile of bricks to one place and the other half to move it back and still get the Keynsian benefits.
Feb 15, 2009
Why are you such a pessimist? Barrack Obama is trying to do good, and its people like you right now that make it harder for him to change this nation for the better. I love you comic strips, but I am dissapointed to read this. I think you, Scott Adams, should stick to comedy.
Feb 15, 2009
You gotta undertand the derivatives market to make any sense of all this ... the economic crisis didn't start in the "real economy" it started in the world of crooked bankers ... I just wrote a pice on my blog about derivatives that is as concise as I could possibly make it, hope it helps someone anyway.. www.inmaxwetrust.com
Feb 14, 2009
Well as long as the clueless conservatives aren't in charge and deciding things then we will have a better than even chance of getting our heads above water after all their looney policies of the last decade.

Pork, yeah right. Dunking your cookie in the Koolaid?
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Feb 12, 2009
!$%* - rhymes with pluck truck duck suck cluck puck schmuck tuck muck stuck yuck huck luck canuck buck and nyuck nyuck nyuck

its all in the stimulus bill
Feb 10, 2009
How would buying lottery tickets stimulate the economy? It's just handing money to the state, not private businesses.
Feb 10, 2009
"Let us be thankful for fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed." - Mark Twain
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Feb 10, 2009
@Charlesfunnish: you are cute ;-) Thanks for the typo on my user name (phd vs. phb), you brought a smile to my face. The funny part is that you have me so absolutely wrong in referring to me as Rahm Emanuel as you scold me for my typo! Maybe we should all go hang out with Michael Phelps and do a bong together, brother?
Feb 10, 2009
"Every economic boom is powered by the clueless" this is priceless...
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Feb 10, 2009
Wow, you have a low opinion of people who live off food stamps and where every single purchase decision they make requires a thorough analysis of pros and cons. Sure government takes advantage of them and their bleak prospects with lottery tickets for example, but that's not bozo. Bozo is rich people getting gigantic air-pumped Halloween and Christmas decorations.
Feb 10, 2009
risingstarlp, that's a bit harsh to dilgal, I was amused. And of all places this is surely the one to make idiotic comments?

I don't have any insight as to the best stimuli, but I thought I would share this analogy. The demand for stimulus is as if a builder, having accidentally semi-demolished your home by removing a vital RSJ, comes to you and says "That's going to cost a fair bit to put right. You'd better pay me now while you still have some money."
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Feb 10, 2009
Perhaps ignorance fueled the financial crisis, but whose ignorance? One scenario:

1) Our consumption and greed led us to outsource manufacturing (aka creation of wealth) to India and China and Eastern Europe.

2) The new manufacturing resulted in prosperity and excess cash accumulating overseas.

3) To thank us (and to put that cash to work), much of that cash was invested in US, European and Japanese markets. We were winning with both low cost goods and inflows of cash from overseas.

4) However, in the absence of manufacturing, consumer spending became a larger and larger component of the GDP. How consumer spending ever became a "product" in the first place mystifies me. Anyway, we encouraged consumer spending and associated consumer debt, because it makes the economy "grow" -- as measured by GDP.

5) Warning signs (declines in the savings rate, increased bankruptcies, increased home foreclosures . . .) are ignored and regulation is discouraged because action on either would interfer with the current "prosperity". It should be mentioned that those benefitting from the outsourcing of manufacturing and the cash inflows from overseas (a minority of the population representing a majority of the wealth) were having a totaly positive economic experience thoughout this.

6) Somebody (or somebodies) discovered that we cannot sustain an economy based on consumer spending alone . . . or did they? Maybe I'm getting ahead of the story.

My point is, the ignorance that did the damage appears to be at the top of the food chain.

Regardless, we need jobs that produce wealth (tangible goods) and we need to rein in debt (even at the expense of living within our means). It would also be laudable to punish those that worked so hard builting this house of cards.
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Feb 10, 2009
By me, there are a lot of bargains out there that I'd be willing to stick my neck out for, but I've been holding off since I knew the rules were going to change. The best thing that the government could do now is declare victory and pull out. In the campaign, both candidates promised to "fix the economy." We all know that it's difficult for the gov't to do anything, let alone fix a broken economy, but we did know that the new president would do SOMETHING.

I'm glad the something is getting done soon, but once it's done, the government should STOP DOING ANYTHING. That will allow us to survey the field and figure out where we figure the least risk is.
Feb 10, 2009
Bit mean ... we're all in this together from the top cat to the mingiest looking alley cat foraging the bins for fish bones and scraps, have a heart pal. Rock on Obama, get the wheels in motion, you never know, maybe some of that money will be spent on something useful , like saving the planet from oil.
Feb 10, 2009
We already had a stimulous package in Australia of $1000 per child and I don't know if it helped the economy or not but most of it went on the poker machines apparently, however they're still going to give us another one of about $2500 for some families. It will help us finish up our renovations if it doesn't get blocked by the opposition.
They're also giving us up to $1600 for insulation for owner occupied uninsulated homes to save families money on their heating and cooling bills and also do something towards our carbon footprint long term.
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