Does Stimulus Spending Work?

Tyler Durden's picture

As we patiently await tonight's much-anticipated debate - and its zinger-ful diatribe of tax, spend, save, borrow, jobs, jobs, jobs word bingo - we thought this perfectly succinct clip dismissing the myth of how government stimulus leads to economic growth was particularly pertinent. Professor Antony Davies provides evidence, via empirical data from 1955, that there is no connection between federal spending and economic improvement - and as we have repeatedly noted - it merely adds to government debt. From the 'magic' of the Keynesian multiplier to the eyes-wide-shut view of spending creating jobs while ignoring the taxing-borrowing-printing nature of that spending. Government doesn't create jobs, it 'moves' jobs; as three years of stimulus spending has left us with ~8% unemployment and $4.6tn more debt.


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flacon's picture

Some people were asking me to elaborate about my banking experience on Monday. Here is the whole story:





I have ScotiaBank.

Yeah I was pretty shocked when I tried to pay my rent on Monday at RBC (Royal Bank of Canada). The lady behind the desk said she would not accept my ScotiaBank cheque! I asked her why and she said "there is too much fraud, you need to have a certified cheque, cashiers cheque or cash". So she confirmed with her manager and they refused my cheque. 

So I left the bank, drove to ScotiaBank to take out cash but they were closed (4:31pm, I missed them by 60 seconds), so I tried to use my ATM card and withdraw cash ($2,000). The ATM said only a max of $1,000, so I tried that and then the ATM said your account has a maximum withdrawal limit of only $400.

So I went back to RBC with the $400 and again spoke to the branch manager and explained my situation. She said that she would "make an exception for me for today". I asked her why they won't accept cheques from my bank and she again said "Well it's bad guys who spoil it for every body else". I retorted that their new rules defeat the purpose of having and writing cheques. It was at that point where she was "gracious" and allowed the transaction "this one time" for me since it was for paying rent. 

So.... what does that tell me? The "world's safest banks" (Canadian banks) DON'T TRUST EACH OTHER'S CUSTOMERS. Also it signifies that many customers don't have the funds in their account to pay for things. 

Here is what this points to: THERE IS NO MONEY! IT'S ALL GONE!


Darth Mul's picture

Great  video. 


I'm not sure how much the petrodollar is motivating, say Congress, vis a vis the Zionist 5th Column for whom the excuse about Iran's nukes is clearly designed to get the US to invade another country which doesn't threaten the US, to help ensure Israel's regional hegemony.


Near term - Israel has managed to keep eyes and attention off its ongoing expansion of illegal settlements, and various war crimes that would be unequivocally condemned if done by any 'non-Jewish' state.  It manages to claim a victim status while using the world's 4th most powerful military to destroy the homes and wells and livelihoods of rock-throwing farmers and teens.

It wants to decapitate the Iranian regime to remove economic/materiel support for Hezbollah and a lesser extent Hamas.


Israel wants to occupy Lebanon to the river for its water, retake the Sinai, and probably expand into Syria and Jordan at some point - and maybe beyond.  To do this, Syria and Lebanon need to be de-stabilized and Balkanized, but a flaw in the plan is that the Saudi-funded Salafists from Libya and Yemen hate Israel too.


As usual, the neocons are using undue influence to get Americans to bleed and pay for Israel's ongoing aggression, but they are dumb, and none of them understand war or the Arab world, having gleaned only Judeocentric tropes from their Jewish professors in New York, Chicago or DC.


They are unaware of the unintended consequences that are likely to come along and bite Israel on the ass.


But Israel's far right wing, the Jewish Supremacist/Talmudic Fundamentalists are in charge.


The dollar is on its way out - getting Iran back in the fold won't help much.  However, the central bank might be what the banks-that-own-the-Fed really want.  Blowing up the dollar is likely part of the plan - why?  - because they will be able to buy up all sorts of real assets...  it's theft of Americans by foreign/international banks.


We need, desperately, to expose and expunge the pro-Israel, mostly-but-not-all-Jewish neocons once again trying to hijack american foreign policy.


They're bad for America, the world, and even Israel - who's regular people should be protected from Zionist sociopathy and megalomania, too.


RSloane's picture

@ Flacon, I was wondering what happened, thanks for the explanation. That's really disturbing on so many levels.

ncdirtdigger's picture

Aaaaaannnnnd, it's gone.  


The fuck?

Silver Bug's picture

It works if your intention is to line the pockets of a very select few, who are already incredibly wealthly. Otherwise no. It fails horribly.

max2205's picture

They are not buying HPQ computers, thats for sure... -9%.


Cash for clunker PC's comimg right up

LMAOLORI's picture



I agree it doesn't work except for lining the pocket's of well connected cronies but

"8% unemployment and $4.6tn more debt"

ROFL hard to get past those bogus figures

Ruffcut's picture

It can be a complex affair. Sure, you charge gas tax and then pay for roadwork.

I actually could give a shit if they spend trillions on alternative energy, but they are directed by bigfuck oil to programmed failure.

Their spending is only to protect their own and cover their fraudster asses. No better than communism, socialism or even buddhism.

socalbeach's picture


[Faber] If you look at history, the most powerful people were usually in the end killed or hanged or crucified. And the Central Bankers today are the most powerful people. So you can imagine what I'm thinking about the Central Banks, and what their leading employees will eventually happen to [and what will eventually happen to their leading employees] ...

[interviewer] Now that's quite a dire prediction there ...

[Faber] No it's a very optimistic prediction...

kridkrid's picture

Holy shit. Faber should steer clear of hot tubs. A brave man and a hero.

Dr. Engali's picture

That is the first time I've heard Marc talk about the central bankers getting hanged or crucified. 

RSloane's picture

He generally speaks in an historical context and uses past data, what worked and what didn't work, to explain why he is investing the way he is today. I, too, have never heard him speak about hanging and crucifying bankers. What he's really talking about is a massive systemic implosion.

Dr. Engali's picture

That's the way I see it. I would like to be a fly on the wall to hear his conversations with clients.

RSloane's picture

My guess would be is that they walk out of his office white-knuckled and with a deer-in-the-headlights expression on their faces. Your comment made me wonder exactly how many investing entities are honest with their clients. Or perhaps I should state that as, how many lie to which degree of severity.

Dr. Engali's picture

Being in the business and working in a field I no longer believe in I can tell you that I know quite a few people who are upfront with their clients. Often times I will go into detail even sharing some of the more scandalous aspects of the system, but the bottom line is there are two categories of people. Those who already know but work within the system ,and those that don't want to know or can't grasp it when I try to explain it to them.

LawsofPhysics's picture

This douchebag isn't familiar with the term "circle jerk" or "bailouts" is he?  Yet another academic telling us all how it is in the real world.  - FAIL.


Skateboarder's picture

You mean the seasonally adjusted figure made by a completely bullshit organization, based on a forecast of number of people dying and number of people being born? Those "jobs?"

Don't know about you guys, but I'm watching the new South Park tonight, and that'll be my TV for the week. Fuck the "debate" - they dishonor that word.

Bob's picture



Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

For those too lazy to read it, the important point here is that the LWV put out this presser back in 1988.  It is a rare example of a relatively mainstream political organization accurately stating what politics had become.  They are of course fully captured by this point, but nice to see the occasional slip.

delacroix's picture

the birth/death model, refers to busnesses, not people.

W10321303's picture

Do Crypto-Facist 'Free Marketers' create false choices and irrational fear? YES!!

By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Cross posted from New Economic Perspectives.

The Washington Post leads the pack when it comes to generating what scientists term a “moral panic” about budget deficits.  As part of that effort they generated the series of myths that Paul Ryan was “serious,” “courageous,” and “expert” about “solving” the “deficit crisis.”  The newspaper’s theme is that anyone who doesn’t fall for their effort to create a moral panic is not “serious” and should be ignored.  The paper runs a column by Robert J. Samuelson that is devoted to generating a moral panic about the deficit.  Like Ryan, his central targets are imposing austerity and cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Samuelson’s latest column claims that President Obama and Governor Romney are lying to the nation because they have not sufficiently embraced the moral panic as the transcendent campaign issue that will determine America’s future.  Samuelson demands the candidates implore the American people to urgently adopt austerity and attack Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

We have known for over 75 years that the key to recovering from a recession is to follow a counter-cyclical fiscal policy that will reduce unemployment. We have long exhibited the wisdom to adopt automatic stabilizers that increase government services and decrease taxes when a recession strikes.

What would have happened if Obama had adopted austerity as Berlin imposed austerity on the European periphery?  It would have prevented any recovery, throwing the U.S. into an even more severe recession.  Berlin’s austerity demands have thrown the Eurozone back into a gratuitous recession, increasing the budget deficit in many nations and plunging Greece and Spain into depressions.  Europe has followed Samuelson’s and Ryan’s policy advice and the results have been disastrous.  Samuelson’s and Ryan’s austerity policies violate economic theory, economic history, and a natural experiment in Europe with austerity that has proved catastrophic.  Samuelson, however, makes bizarre odes to Irish austerity, emphasizing the necessity of “persuading ordinary citizens to tolerate austerity (higher unemployment, lower social benefits, [and] heavier taxes) without resorting to paralyzing street protests or ineffectual parliamentary coalitions.”


Samuelson shares Berlin’s belief in the redemptive power of suffering – by others.  He doesn’t even feel a need to explain why any rational government would adopt a policy in response to a severe recession which it knew would cause “higher unemployment, lower social benefits, [and] heavier taxes.”  He admits that Berlin (and Dublin) knew that austerity would make the recession far more severe.  He doesn’t think that adopting austerity programs known to be self-destructive requires justification or even explanation.  Insanity is normal in Samuelson’s world.

Samuelson is most amazing, however, in explaining how the victims of austerity should react to a response to a recession that will make the recession worse.  Samuelson’s world of insane economic policies requires the victims to be political masochists.  Samuelson demands that the victims of austerity suffer in silence without protesting austerity or using their democratic rights to form coalitions to reverse the insane economic policies.  Samuelson is not afraid of “ineffectual parliamentary coalitions” – he is terrified of effectual coalitions that would end the economic insanity of responding to a recession with a pro-cyclical policy of austerity.

Samuelson, in a column decrying politicians who make misleading statements, suggests that Obama make the following statement to voters about ending the U.S. deficit.

“Can’t we just tax the rich even more? Unfortunately, this won’t work either. Third Way — a liberal group, mind you — estimated the effects of top income tax rates of 49.6 percent and 41 percent and a top capital gains rate of 38.8 percent. The budget still doesn’t balance….

“Third Way” is not “a liberal group” – and Samuelson knows it.  It claims to be a “moderate” group, but that self-description is misleading.  “Third Way” was created by, and is run by Jonathan Cowan, a Pete Peterson devotee.  Peterson is a conservative, Republican billionaire who has spent 20 years using his money to create groups that will spread the moral panic about deficits in order to attack Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Samuelson is a Pete Peterson devotee and journalist quoting Cowan’s group’s paper.  Cowan is a fellow Peterson devotee and journalist.  Third Waypublished a paper lauding Ryan’s proposals to end public health insurance and denouncing Brad de Long and Paul Krugman’s refutation of Peterson’s faux moral panic


divide_by_zero's picture

Sorry but the Third Way is a hard core progressive/liberal group definitely not the moderates(maybe for progressives though) they portray themselves. Complete with Clinton and Soros tie ins. Pete Peterson if he calls himself Repub/conservative he is a RINO(plenty of those around), the POS was a director of the Council on Foreign Relations a position once held by Soros himself. How much more progressive/liberal can you get? I could go on but do your own research a bit better.

pods's picture

It is wrong to assume the government was trying to create jobs. 
They were trying to backstop the banks, and a few other assorted companies.
If that created jobs it was just gravy.

The really important thing is that they issued oodles of debt, which the banks snapped up with newly created loaned reserves to heal their balance sheets.

I am so tired of people arguing all this shit all of the time.  

They are not looking out for your interests. They are there to buy your ass off with cheap trinkets and firewater while they steal all your capital and labor.

Stimulus spending work?  Fuck yeah it does.

Just not how everyone pretends it does.


bigdumbnugly's picture

Stimulus spending work?  Fuck yeah it does.

Just not how everyone pretends it does.

yep.  all depends on to whom the question is put.   to the bankers it is a no-brainer.


SeattleBruce's picture

Yes, it has certainly worked as a bonus saving measure for the TOTUS' closest allies within TPTB.  Maybe they should count up banksta bonuses created or saved (vs. jobs...)

Darth Mul's picture



A little pre-debate antipasto from


The 6 Biggest Debate Promises Obama Failed to Keep



And for those of you who like to blindly cheerlead for Obama, please to review

 - he's now signe dover 900 - more than 800 more than Buish did in 2 terms.






Darth Mul's picture

I didnt realize there was a 'Special Master for TARP executive compensation'


I would have bet all of my money, guns and testicles that he'd be a member of The Tribe though...


just like the heads of the fed/fomc, the fdic, the sec, the cbo, the cftc, the office of budget and management, council of economic advisors, national economic council...


Did I forget anything?


Spare me the Hitler Card - if virtually every chairmanship having to do with banking/finance was held by a Scientologist, it'd be on the front page of the NYT.


But since it's Jews, and Jewish 'control' {or at least heavily disproportionate influence} of banking is an antisemitic canard, no one, not even Zerohedge would dare openly discuss how strange it is that Mr. Obama seems unable to find non-Jewish help for these positions.


Pure coincidence, by the way, that the venn diagram for Goldman Sachs and Obama office holders has such overlap, I'm sure.


Go back to sleep, little's all just an antisemitic canard... shhhhhhh....

Dum dee dum.

Bob's picture

Here's a full bore genuine look at how the "left" views BarryO . . . note the vehemence of hundreds of commentors in reply to this OBot's arm-twisting for them to "vote for the lesser evil":

Also here:

The left is just as determined to reject Obama as real Ron Paul libertarians are in opposition to Mittens. 

Just an FYI.  Obviously there are NO Obama fans here . . . but the notion that the Left is where you'll find them is equally wrong. 

LMAOLORI's picture

I saw a similar article on the Nation &  The Socialist Worker but I also saw this on the Atlantic another liberal site and the title says it all.  


People Who Won't Vote Prefer Obama



No matter how you lean politically if you don't participate then you have no right to bitch about the outcome.





Bob's picture

There are always other candidates, although they are excluded from public coverage, as Ron Paul supporters know too well.  

Participating in an empty charade makes you an essential part of the problem, imo.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

"No matter how you lean politically if you don't participate then you have no right to bitch about the outcome."

How about, fuck you govvy troll.

Shizzmoney's picture

If you want to know about failed cities during this fail tenure of "A Football Life: Cleveland 1995" on NFL Network tonight.

You'll learn much more about the America we live in, than watching those two clowns talk birth control and taxes for 90 minutes tonight.

Dr. Engali's picture

It's all sound logic to me, but try to get the average pleeb to understand that and they'll say "yeah but the government has to do something".

AetosAeros's picture

The complete and utter brainwashing of America has been 100 years in the making: Peer pressure, status quo, 'Jones' lifestyle, education system, government co-dependency, police 'Powers' over 'Citizens Rights', etc., etc. ad infinitum, ad naseum;

What can we expect from our neighbors, except adherance to the structures of the society that they themselves uphold as 'The American Way'?

The only thing that will change the situation and the future is a complete and total collapse of society (world wide) bouyed by the support of well placed people of conscious and honor who can step in and guide humanity to a better evolution. And those people are actively drummed out and sequestered to a 5X8 at every oppurtunity by TPTB.

This structured collapse we are in is meant to be excruciateling slow, painful, and unforgiving to the common man; and the future they are working for THEM is inversely better as it will be worse for US. As long as we support the system, we support the choices they make. By design.

LongSoupLine's picture

It worked for Kraft for a 1/2 second this morning.

Alcoholic Native American's picture

The Government creates an ass load of jobs.  This "The government does not create jobs" saying is quite the meme.

Darth Mul's picture

Care to provide any proof?


We'll wait.

Alcoholic Native American's picture

Proof that the government does create jobs?  Are you retarded?

darteaus's picture

No, your whole family is.

Still waiting for the proof big mouth.

cosmictrainwreck's picture

I still wanna meet that guy who got the ONE "net positive" job that was created..... you got his phone # ?

Urban Redneck's picture

I see at least 1,000,000 jobs that the government has saved or created needlessly.  (too bad we're all the hook for their payroll and pensions...)

MoneyShaman's picture

Well the government can certainly create jobs, but the question is, are they productive jobs? The answer is overwhelmingly no. Bureaucrats like to view "ANY" type of work as a job, but in economical sense (real economics), those are not real jobs, or productive jobs. Government jobs are overwhelmingly unproductive. It's just work. If simply doing work is what creates wealth, may be you should follow what Federic Bastiat suggested if you think work produces wealth, if you are right-handed, work with your left-hand instead to work harder. Vice versa if you are left-handed if you believe that working harder produces more wealth.


Productivity is what creates wealth for the economy, not simply working. Border check points are not productive jobs, or war on drugs are not productive jobs either. Having someone take up a job of standing around asking driver passbys if they are American is not a productive job. At best is serves to harass the common passerby.

There are three levels of productivity in my book:

Unproductive job = Government created job, like military industrial complex, repaving roads that don't need to be paved, regulatory job, national park ranger, etc. Service jobs


Low productive job = Restraurant, or food vending, retail selling Chinese made stuff to non-chinese, service jobs


High productive job = Manufacturing exportable goods, producing of goods that serve universal human need,produces inflow of capital globally, requires special skill to produce these type of goods.

darteaus's picture

Government stimulus leads to significant economic improvement - for the politically connected.

Inthemix96's picture

Central banks and governments create jobs?

This is a rant BTW.

Come live where I live ZHers.

I have a job, I have my own business, I employ 15 to 20 folk, 15 full time 5 floaters, it suits them, and it suits me.

Now read this and tell me government helps, creates, sustains, or any other bollocks you like business.

I have for a number of years a contract with my local county council.  I turned up to start a job six months ago at a regional council headquarters.  Now before I and my staff can start this job, first off, is all my staff passed by the child protection agency and passed a CRB check?

Am I and my staff fully conversed in the reams of health and saftey legislation to allow us on site?  Have my staff and I have a fully protective, and self aware personal protective system in place in case of unforseen accidents or emergencys?  Have we achieved at least level two in NVQ specialist hazardous material handling courses?

Have we provided a fully backed up and accountable, thoughouly specified risk assesment of the job we are preparing to commence?  Have we warned the staff of the building enough with trip hazard signs, wet floor signs, men at work signs, and most importantly, have we made the HSE inspector on site we are about to commence work?

If not, we are asked to leave.  Bear in mind I am a sole trader, and keeping up on top of this bollocks as well as doing my job, is shall we say taxing my resolve.

Here is the really funny bit.  What job do we do?  What could make us jump through that many hoops?

I tell you what we do.  We clean windows.  Yes, windows, the fucking bits of glass you look out of.  The most dangerous thing we use is fucking fairy liquid, in water.

Welcome to England 2012.  I dont know why I bother, and to be honest, I may not for much longer, I have nearly had enough.  You fuckers live in paradise compared to here.

And seriously.  I know this is an annonymous blog. I am not making that up.

Sorry for the rant