One of them still has work to do to win the Nobel Prize. He interviews Phelps and Prescott.

"There's a chance that some of the infrastructure spending will do the job of creating more work for earth-moving equipment and construction workers, Phelps noted. "I said, 'a chance'," he continued. "Now, there's also a chance that the perceived increase in the role of government of this sort will have some unanticipated effects on the animal spirits of entrepreneurs. These projects may stand as a sort of symbol of the weakening of the private sector."

There are alternatives, such as a cut in the employer contribution to the payroll tax, that would not look so much like throwing the private sector under the bus.

With the bailouts and the stimulus, I feel that Washington is sending the signal, "We're in charge now," (kind of like Al Haig after Reagan was shot). This is creating euphoria in some corners. But it is creating despondency in other corners--and I suspect that the people who are despondent are more important to economic recovery than the people who are euphoric.