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A Brief History of (Our) Time



Apropos of Kevin's article earlier about letting the economy manage itself by leaving it to its Schumpeterian ways, I was struck by the President's response today to a question about unemployment (emphasis in italics mine).

"Let me remind the listeners here about what our country has gone through. The stock market started to change in March of 2000. And there was a precipitous decline in March of 2000. And that began to affect savings and money and attitude. And then the country went into a recession. The first three quarters of 2001 was a recession. And we dealt with that by passing tax relief, which made the recession one of the shallowest in history."

"Now, people said, well, maybe you shouldn't have done that, maybe you shouldn't have had tax relief, maybe you should have let the recession run its course. But my attitude about that is, is that a deep recession would have caused more people to lose work. And I'm more worried about families finding a job and putting food on the table than I am about economic theory and economic numbers. And so the recession was shallow."

"...And so now the economy is -- having overcome those obstacles, is beginning to recover. And, yes, I think people are going to go back to work. And I firmly believe that what we have done was the absolute right course of action in order to help people find a job."

Hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions. Let us hope this time the above good intentions don't lead us down that path.

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