Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Will without War?

Klinedinst, Mark (2009): Will without War?

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While congress debates the merits of a stimulus package of around 900 hundred billion dollars, a historical approach to the current situation suggests that the stimulus packages currently being discussed are actually far less generous than may be needed. The Congressional Budget Office projects that we are in “a recession that will probably be the longest and the deepest since World War II.” It is often suggested that the massive spending necessitated by the nation’s involvement in World War II helped end the Great Depression. Without a comparably ambitious unifying cause, however, I am afraid that the spending required to pull us out of a decline will be considered politically unpalatable, leading to an inadequate response to the crisis. An examination of spending patterns during the nineteen-­‐thirties and nineteen-­‐forties and their application to the current scenario suggest the true extent of the stimulus that may be needed.

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