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The Reformed Broker

Constructive stimulus vs. economic fairness

Two top financial bloggers discuss the potential for a new round of stimulus and how to execute it.

By Joshua M. BrownGuest blogger / September 17, 2010

On Sept. 6, in Milwaukee, Wisc., President Obama announced a $50 billion comprehensive infrastructure plan that will target America's roads, railways and runways to create new jobs and strengthen America's struggling economy. This and other stimulus proposals are discussed in two thoughtful blogs.

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I fall somewhere in between the two arguments I'm about to present. Today two of the top financial bloggers extant discussed the potential for a new round of stimulus and how it should be carried out.

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Barry Ritholtz put out seven stimulus proposals complete with a methodology to pay for them on The Big Picture. His theme is that phenomenal progress and enduring institutions can only come with coordinated spending and long-term vision, our nation's now-aging bridge/road/tunnel infrastructure being a great example. His gist is that if we're going to do something stimulative, it should be done constructively rather than haphazardly as has been the case so far.

On the other side of the coin is David Merkel, writing at the Aleph Blog. His piece today is a reaction to Daniel Henninger's WSJ op-ed in which the reasons behind the anti-Keynesian anger are laid out. Merkel cuts through a lot of the rhetoric and simply says, look, the people are furious because they see the Dems as making choices about which industries to support - it comes down to unfairness. The populist sentiment upon seeing these checks be written by the government is "well, what about me?" Merkel is basically saying that the spending should be done fairly for all and that the chips should fall where they may, dying industries or no.

Both posts are teriffic, they tell the same story but with differing viewpoints. Blogging at its finest regardless of which side of the argument you fall on.

Here are both:

Economic Stimulus? Try These 7 Ideas (The Big Picture)

Fairness Versus Economics (Aleph Blog)

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