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Did The Stimulus Work? Ctd

by Patrick Appel

Adam Ozimek questions Jim Manzi's understanding of consensus. Karl Smith narrows the debate:

I listed myself as a stimulus skeptic but I wasn’t at all skeptical about the stimulating powers of government spending. I was skeptical as to whether that was the ideal course of action. That skepticism was as much rooted in my understanding of American political dynamics and my own tolerance for risk as in any scientific claims about macroeconomics.

That has to be always kept in mind. Economists will disagree on policy even when we have no disagreement over economics. We have different policy preferences based on our different assessments on non-economic factors and at the end of the day because we have different tastes for government action.

If you can get 90% of economists to agree on anything, that’s quite a feat.