Indiscriminate Stimulus in a Pandemic Is Absurd
Joe Biden’s prospective Treasury secretary nominee, Janet Yellen, is a long-time supporter of government stimulus spending to spur recovery from recessions. Right now, she has supporters among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, who agree that the economy needs hundreds of billions of dollars in additional stimulus and are only debating the size of the package.
But a fiscal stimulus in this particular recession is nonsense. Members of both parties seem to assume that the problem with our economy is insufficient spending money, or consumer demand. This is false. This is the most obviously supply-side recession in modern history. Many Americans (those lucky enough to still be working, that is) have the money and the will to buy things, but they can’t, because the coronavirus and the government response have caused stores, restaurants, planes, and more to shut down.