Funny blog post by Greg Ransom:
"STIMULUS", AKA ECONOMIC CRANK
"Stimulus" is slang for a sordid economic nostrum administered on the advice of bankers and academics, many of them carrying the title of "Dr.". But don't mistake these "Doctors" for devotees of the Hippocratic Oath. "Stimulus" or economic crank, like any other economic panacea, is a fake cure that gives its victims a temporary but false sense of well-being, even as it sets about causing long term damage to users and the economic community at large. The opium of the economists know as "stimulus" acts directly on bread winners and investors by misdirecting them into production plans and consumption levels which cannot be successfully coordinated or sustained across time. As a consequence, the "high" of this political drug lasts for only a few months, often followed by a depressing "crash" period, which cannot be avoided without further and ever increasing quantities of "stimulus". The drug received its proper name "crank" because it was most often smuggled into policy debates by monetary cranks, the most famous of whom was John Maynard Keynes.
"Stimulus" is taken by fiscal injection, monetarily (directly snorted by banks and borrowers), and through the consumption of pork. A common misconception among politicians and the public is that some administration methods are safer than others, while in reality all act on the economy the same exact way. Economic "crank" damages the coordinative function of prices across the structure of production and consumption, which cause naturally occurring price signals -- e.g. interest rates, stock prices, etc. -- to be ineffective. Because price signals are responsible for facilitating the coordination of production plans and consumption choices, withdrawal from sustained periods of artificial "stimulation" is extremely painful to economic actors and the economy system, with businesses and households thrown back into economic reality after having functioned for a time in a circus mirror, government-altered state without any naturally produced and undistorted relative prices to guide their plans.
"Stimulus" withdrawal is said to be one of the most painful experiences an economy can endure, and users of economic "crank" should consider other safer ways to buy the support of voters.