Update: Stimulus signed, sealed, soon to be delivered. Dow down.
Lately the Democrats’ main talking point in support of the stimulus package seems to be the fire analogy. We should stop arguing, apply the water, and then keep the fire from spreading.
The Soviet Union is instructive here. First, I think of Arthur Koestler’s book, Darkness at Noon :
You wrote: “When the house is on fire, all must help to quench it; if we go on quarreling about doctrines, we will all be burnt to ashes.” That is wrong. We fight against the fire with water; the others do it with oil. Therefore we must first decide which is the right method, water or oil, before uniting the fire brigades. One cannot conduct politics that way. It is impossible to form a policy with passion and despair.
On today’s, BBOW (Soon to go by a different name. Check it out!), I have a more detailed analysis of Koestler’s lessons for the Republican Party. But for here, let’s focus on the Oliver Wendell Holmes analogy.
We’re not on fire. Not put in the perspective of history. We’re not in the Great Depression yet. In fact, the 24 hour news cycle would not have allowed the Great Depression to have lasted a decade. And it would have imposed its own 22nd amendment.
Again, I think of the Soviets. My hometown paper had an editorial describing the milk glut as a crisis. A crisis? The Soviet Union of the 1920s would have loved to have such a crisis!
So, the economy is a crowded theater. Obama and the Democrats are causing panic by shouting “Fire!”