Friday, May 8, 2009
The government is doing its best to try to "restore confidence" in the economy. Indeed, Obama's top economics advisors believe they can fool people into believing that everything is fine, and then the economy will recover.
And for that reason, defenders of the status quo think that it is important for everyone to keep quiet about how severe the crisis really is.
Are they right?
As economist Irving Fisher pointed out (as recounted by economist Steve Keen):
Hobbled by this naive belief in equilibrium, the economics profession was as unprepared for today’s crisis as it had been for the Great Depression. Now that the crisis is well and truly with us, all conventional “neoclassical” economists can offer is the hope that the crisis can be overcome by a good, strong dose of confidence.
From [Irving] Fisher’s point of view, such a belief is futile. In an economy with an excessive level of debt and low inflation, he argued that confidence was irrelevant–and in fact dangerously misleading, as he knew from painful personal experience.