Editor’s Note: We keep hearing from the Fed’s defenders that the current spate of new stimulus and bailouts from the central bank are really not a big deal and are all very prudent and moderate. I asked Senior Fellow Bob Murphy to provide some much needed perspective.
Ryan McMaken: We’re in a very odd situation right now in terms of evaluating the state of the economy. We can see that there is rising unemployment, and there is likely to be a wave of missed mortgage and rent payments. Is this all just due to the government-mandated “shutdowns” or are there deeper economic issues here?
Robert P. Murphy: In economics there are no controlled experiments, so partisans on a policy dispute can both continue to claim that the evidence is on their side. That’s why Keynesians and Austrians still disagree about the “lessons” of the 1930s, or whether the Obama stimulus package created or destroyed jobs.