Monday, March 09, 2009

Cobb, Jenney to debate stimulus proponents tomorrow.

I'm not a big "fan" of debates. Lawyering is one thing, but settling intellectual questions, especially of the quantitative sort, almost demands the precision and slow pace of writing. (My advice: do not allow yourself ever to be convinced by verbal argument on a question of economics or natural science.) Witness the sleazy "debates" over anthropogenic global warming, wherein the most charismatic showman with the best dumbed-down "easy" argument wins.

But I'm a "fan" of both Joe Cobb and Tom Jenney, and wouldn't mind cheering on their side in tomorrow's debate over economic stimulus, were I able to casually drive up to Phoenix.

For readers in the Phoenix area, here are the details, from the Phoenix College Business Club:

Economic Stimulus Debate March 10 at Phoenix College

Debate to take economic policy out of the textbook and into real life

PHOENIX-Is stimulus spending by government one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century? Or is it the economic equivalent of crystal meth? Local policy experts will debate the wisdom of government fiscal stimulus at a forum sponsored by the Phoenix College Business Club on the evening of Tuesday, March 10.

"The ongoing economic crisis, and the government's efforts to address it, have taken what seemed like a purely academic debate, and made it a discussion with important real-world implications," said Bev Jenkins, faculty advisor for the Phoenix College Business Club. "The government's response to the crisis will likely have a huge impact on job creation and economic growth, not just in the short run, but for decades to come."

Even though the most recent $787 billion package has been signed into law, many observers believe that many more stimulus measures will be proposed in the coming months and years.

Arguing in favor of the proposition that government spending can stabilize the US economy are David Wells, associate faculty director of ASU's Interdisciplinary Studies Program, and Thomas W. Dietrich, a local tax attorney. Arguing against the proposition are Tom Jenney, Arizona director of Americans for Prosperity, and Joe Cobb, a local economist.

The debate will feature an extensive period for audience questions. The general public is invited and encouraged to attend.

The debate will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in room C102 at Phoenix College, which is located at 1202 W. Thomas Road in downtown Phoenix. A flyer for the debate is attached.

Contact: Bev Jenkins, (602) 285-768

Harvard economist Jeff Miron recommended another, more responsible stimulus a while back. As for me, I'm fed up with the audacity of hoke, a President and Congress who would like to use the financial crisis as an excuse to implement a left-wing equal-but-poor healthcare scheme in particular, and dress up in costume and play New Deal in general. They are prolonging the crisis because it is politically expedient, and we ought demand a speed bankruptcy instead.

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