Fw: A Stimulus Story

Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 6:53:32 PM
Fw: A Stimulus Story

A Stimulus Story :

It is the month of April, on the shores of the Black Sea . It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town.

He enters the only hotel, lays a 100 Euro note on the reception counter, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.

The hotel proprietor takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the butcher.

The Butcher takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the pig grower.

The pig grower takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel.

The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the town's prostitute that in these hard times, gave her "services" on credit.

The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Euro note to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there.

The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 Euro note back on the counter.
At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 Euro note, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town.

No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the United States Government under President BHO is doing business today.

At least the hooker and the hogs made out okay.


Anonymous said...

So as long as goods and services are exchanged for equal value, everyone's happy? Except for the honest guy who is robbed by the rich tourist, of course. And in this analogy, he's definitely the government that's shoveling money into banks and car companies, not the financial bigwigs who pay their bills with fake money, then disappear with it at the end of the day.

Anonymous said...

You know, this story was a) funnier when Poul Anderson wrote it in 1982 under the title "Fairy Gold", and b) doesn't actually demonstrate anything like what the RW forwarder thinks it does.

The town *is* genuinely better off; all of the economic actors were in debt to each other, in an economic stalemate; the outside stimulus (in the form of the low-interest loan) allowed each of them to reduce the crushing burden of debt which inhibited their economic activity; and the loan was repaid in full. That's classic Keynes.

This story is about as insightful as "and then the spaceship opened... and the other twin had only aged a year! Isn't that *ludicrous*?"

CMcD said...

"...and the other twin had only aged a year! Isn't that *ludicrous*?"

FTW! I lauged so hard I nearly fell off the saddle on my dinosaur!

Anonymous said...

Wait! Where's my stimulating hooker & blow??!!!

Hibryd said...

"No one earned anything."

Actually, all those people DID earn something. Everyone had performed a service and was merely waiting for the payment, and the hotel owner getting a loan (although it was kind of sneaky) enabled that chain of payments to go through.

So if there hadn't been a "stimulus" in the form of that loan, which was completely paid back, what would have happened in this town, anyway?

Anonymous said...

The holtel proprietor is left screwed out of $100. These stimulus' are only made to look good. Someone always gets the short end of the stick. Hotel owner never got to keep his $100 from the hooker...funny how he got screwed by her in a way...

Colleen said...

No, the hotel proprietor owed $100 to the butcher and was owed $100 by the hooker, so he comes out even (with no profit and no debt) just like everyone else.

In real life situations, though, everything is not this egalitarian, and someone ends up worse off.

Marc with a C said...

I guess conservatives believe that if you have a debt and don't have the means to pay it off, the best thing to do is simply to ignore it and pretend like it doesn't exist.

What a great show of personal responsibility in action!

Anonymous said...

To Marc w/a C: as you know so well, there is no personal responsibility - whether "in action" or not - on the right.

It's all about BLAMING someone else for the problem, which means in most cases: teh eeevul libruls.

Anonymous said...

So this is Greece, right? No other country on the Black Sea uses the euro...

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