… for our current economic straits, from Samizdata:
My proposed means of stimulus is the mass firing of government employees.
Every government employee fired aids the economy in three distinct ways.
First, there is the direct cost of the salary, benefits and retirement of those employees, which must be sucked out of the rest of the economy through coercive taxation, weakening it. Each dollar we leave in the hands of ordinary people is a dollar they can then proceed to spend on things they really want, which is always better for the economy than a coerced expenditure.
Second, there is the cost to the economy of the negative work most government employees do. Although a small fraction of government employees are engaged in jobs that would exist even in a free society, such as designing bridges and the like, most employees in a modern government spend their time interfering in the productivity of others…
Third, there is the cost to the economy of having someone essentially idle. Most government employees do nothing of actual use, and there is an opportunity cost to that.
I think the benefits of such a proposal far outweigh any negative effects, and it (the proposal) should be implemented posthaste. The traffic improvements alone in cities such as Mobile, Atlanta, and Washington, D. C. would make it worthwhile.