Tag Archives: boom

The Procyclicalists: Fiscal Austerity vs. Stimulus

       The world is in the grip of a debate between fiscal austerity and fiscal stimulus.  Opponents of austerity worry about contractionary effects on the economy.  Opponents of stimulus worry about indebtedness and moral hazard.

Is austerity good or bad?   It is as foolish to debate this proposition as it would be to debate whether it is better for a driver to turn left or right.   It depends where the car is on the road. Sometimes left is appropriate, sometimes right.  When an economy is in a boom, the government should run a surplus; other times, when in recession, it should run a deficit.    

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