Bryan Caplan  

My Analysis Is...

The 1930's and Today... Nostalgianomics, A Cato Gem...
Arnold wants me to explain why "two-thirds of the American people think they could do a better job on the economy than Congress."  My take is that a lot of Americans want an even more populist approach to the crisis.  Yes, many Americans thankfully oppose spending trillions on "hope."  But at least as many probably favor a massive regulatory "solution."

During the 2008 bail-out, many polls shows that a majority of Americans opposed it.  But the better polls showed that the median respondent wanted to tinker with the bail-out; only a small minority just wanted to let the usual rules of bankruptcy takes their course.  It would be nice if 2009 were a libertarian populist moment.  But it's not.

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COMMENTS (2 to date)
8 writes:

If libertarians can't generate a populist movement now, they'll wander through the wilderness for 75 years until the next crisis arrives. The Internet is helping to spread ideas, but there's almost nothing in the mainstream.
The public believes government must intervene, and for libertarians that means the debate is over.

The Cato petition was a nice start, but a lot more is required.

p. sigmon writes:

If/when the economic situation continues to deteriorate into a depression, eyes will hopefully be opened to the fact that government intervention did nothing but hurt the economy. Every American alive now has lived in a system that is supposed to tend to your every need. Dependence on the government is now the standard. It's going to take something drastic to bring the realities of our current situation to light for the majority.

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