Being a debater's mom, I have to sit in on teen debates and some of the points made there are far better than this naive article by Mr. Sachs. It is sweet to see that he loves his current president's idea of bigger government. But I, for one, would like to see spending cuts to cut down deficit and increase taxes where appropriate. For too long we have lunched out on our children's futures. Let us draw the line at our grandchildren's.
Stimulus has failed because Home economics always teaches that only when there is something in the pot can it be dished out. All that stimulus did was print more money that did not exist and circulate it and make everyone feel that there was a "Hurricane Greenback" that flooded their cities and hence make them feel "rich".
It goes back to the basics- spend what you have earned, not borrowed from future expectations. A bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush. But then, my introduction to finance course taught me how I could create equations to show the "value of time" and slap a value on it and gamble and see how many more agree with me and put their money along with mine to make everyone believe the same. Then one day, it just might pay the dividends we thought it would or we can come to the realization that it was the Story of the Emperor's New Clothes all over again!
The crisis is apparent because of the method adopted to measure it. If the tools used for measuring were changed, the crisis or problem will vanish and will be called the next "great idea". We have seen sufficient sleight of hand in the past few decades adopted by corporations and governments to "show growth" using "new tools". Actually all that was growth betting against the future. So, we keep borrowing into perpetuity- great- we can all go in for the long haul. At current rates, a child born in America inherits decades of debt on its head as compared to a child born in India which has half as much debt. Until the grand economic liberalization of India began,it was considered a sin to own debt and now it has become a fashion.
I agree to some extent to this last para as well as Justin Douglas' comment. My only addition to this view would be delinking essentials such as water, land, food crops and such that are basic needs for survival from a "monetary" system that has contributed to large scale inequities with moneyed people playing the markets with these basic commodities and thus playing with people's lives. These should not even be listed on any commodities or trading lists. The entire agri policy of many countries in the name of "trade" has cause huge discrepancies in health of land, water and people (chemical inputs) and petroleum needs to farm causing dependance on oil rather than farming oil-free. And on the other end we see disappearance of native crop varieties and increased malnutrition amongst children. These are sever problems that require quick microeconomic response but requiring macro support.
I begto differ- scarcity is man made to ensure this uneven playing field. Let us revisit this scenario with the hearing being televised live via the internet/ TV and every registered voter can have an opportunity to "speak up". Then nobody needs to stand in line or sell their spots.
The idea of "money" is an illusion. RO water can be bought for 20 cents/ gal if I take my bottle to the water center. If I want the same water bottled for me then it becomes $1 on a sale or $2 full price. If the same water is not RO but from an exotic glacier or fancy artisan well from a polution free country, it becomes $10- even $100 a gal! If I trusted my municipality tap and filled my water from a tap, it costs less than .2 cents a gal (not considering the people who scour the land for drinking water and sometimes have to make do with contaminated water or dry wells and thus have to walk miles to get a gallon). Thus, this "perceived" value can easily be manipulated with "money", but bottomline, as humans we all need to drink water to survive.