18 Jan 2009

Becker Cribs From Murphy?

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Von Pepe suggests so, pointing out this passage:

[W]ith unemployment at 7% to 8% of the labor force, it is impossible to target effective spending programs that primarily utilize unemployed workers, or underemployed capital. Spending on infrastructure, and especially on health, energy, and education, will mainly attract employed persons from other activities to the activities stimulated by the government spending. The net job creation from these and related spending is likely to be rather small. In addition, if the private activities crowded out are more valuable than the activities hastily stimulated by this plan, the value of the increase in employment and GDP could be very small, even negative.

Unfortunately I don’t think the timing works. My piece ran on January 12, whereas Becker’s was posted the day before. (Of course I wrote mine before Becker’s ran, so I am certain I didn’t subconsciously take from him without attribution.)

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