Stimulus

John Robson, on media coverage of the death of Jim Flaherty:

As soon as they heard he was dead, pundits and politicians started chirping that he was worthy of praise because he was a Tory who, when the chips were down, admitted liberals were right all along.

Our kind of guy. One who knows conservatism is just mouth noise to soothe and deceive the ignorant and the angry.

Behind the mahogany and brass doors of official Ottawa we’re all Keynesians, now and forever.

What accounts for the passionate, almost desperate desire to believe in Keynesian economics among the intelligentsia and the dumb people who imagine themselves to be part of the intellegensia (read: most of the press)?

When it comes to the Tories themselves, I wonder. Have they been converted, deep down, to the belief that government spending is the headwater from which all prosperity flows? Or is it all a cynical act? Maybe they know that the economy isn’t the sort of thing that can be aroused to full tumescence by vigorous action, that even if all that stimulus might feel good for a time, it ultimately doesn’t accomplish much and just leaves a mess to clean up afterwards, but for all that, if the public demands action and plans, then “action plans” they shall have. (I suppose that to even pose the question might presume politicians are capable of a more philosophical frame of mind than many in fact are.)

The Tories, to their partial credit, are cleaning up most of the mess they made of the public finances, but do they really believe all the self-serving rhetoric about how it was their wise and pragmatic, even inspired leadership that saved the world’s economy from certain doom?

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