Could Have Been Worse, Will Not Be Better
Unsurprisingly, Kate Brewster, of Poverty Institute fame, is inclined to cheerlead for stimulus money:
“It could have been worse” might not be an inspirational slogan, but it aptly describes the situation in Rhode Island and other states thanks to unprecedented federal efforts to fight back against one of the worst recessions in memory.
She goes on to list some big dollar amounts that have been handed out, but my mind keeps returning to her opening quotation. In the years and decades to come, we should pause from time to time to wonder whether, in those future days, things could have been better in the absence of all of that advance spending.
In Rhode Island, surely, and probably throughout the nation as a whole, we are likely to be measuring our progress in degrees of economic pain, rather than of success, for the better part of our lives. Unless, of course, we turn our nation from the path on which Brewster’s ilk has set us.