Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Understanding the Stimulus Bill

Received via email:

Shortly after class an economics  student  student approaches his economics  professor and says, "I don't understand this stimulus  bill. Can you explain it to me?"

The professor replied, "I don't  have any time to explain it at my office, but if you  come over to my house on Saturday and help me with my weekend project,  I'll be glad to explain it to you." The student agreed.

At the agreed-upon time,  the student showed up at the professor's house. The  professor stated that the weekend project involved his  backyard pool.

They both went out back to the  pool, and the professor handed the student a bucket.  Demonstrating with his own bucket, the professor said,  "First, go over to the deep end, and fill your bucket with as much water as you can." The student did as he  was instructed.

The professor then continued,  "Follow me over to the shallow end, and then dump all  the water from your bucket into it." The student was  naturally confused, but did as he was  told.

The professor then explained  they were going to do this many more times, and began  walking back to the deep  end of the   pool.

The confused student asked,  "Excuse me, but why are we doing  this?"

The professor matter-of-factly  stated that he was trying to make the shallow end much  deeper.

The student didn't think the  economics professor was serious, but figured that he  would find out the real story soon  enough.

However, after the 6th trip  between the shallow end and the deep end, the student  began to become worried that his economics professor had  gone mad. The student finally replied, "All we're doing is wasting valuable time and effort on unproductive   pursuits. Even worse, when this process is all over,  everything will be at the same level it was before, so  all you'll really have accomplished is the destruction  of what could have been truly productive  action!"

The professor put down his  bucket and replied with a smile, "Congratulations. You  now understand the stimulus bill."

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