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Archive for July, 2011

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  • The second element is that people see economic issues through moral frames and people think there’s an extent to which recessions are punishment for sins — mainly sins of excess — and you don’t expiate sins by binges. So there’s a kind of moral counterintuitiveness that has made it difficult for the public and for political figures to accept stimulus. You can see this in the past, too. John Kennedy’s economic advisers told him after his 1961 inauguration that the country needed a tax cut and he told them they may be right, but he had just given an inaugural address about bearing any burden and paying any price and so he explained to them that he could not turn around and propose a tax cut.

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