Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thursday talk radio update

I finally heard a good case against the stimulus package on Friday. It didn't come from Sean Hannity, who made a nonstop case all week long that the package was the final step in European-style socialism. Nor did it come from Rush Limbaugh, who was busy rooting for America to fail. Nor Glenn Beck, who was unable to shake his conviction that the Fairness Doctrine is just around the corner. Nor Mike Gallagher, whose sole function in life appears to be to ensure that Hannity isn't the dumbest host on talk radio.

Instead it came on that liberal bastion, Yellowstone Public Radio, where economist Niall Ferguson argued that the current financial crisis won't be cured by Keynesian spending. In fact, he argued, the problem is excessive debt, so adding to the debt won't help. Nor will it necessarily help to put more money into consumers' pockets, especially if they use it go shopping for Chinese-made goods at Wal-Mart.

What he did call for wouldn't necessarily make conservatives happier than they are now: Essentially, he called for nationalizing failing banks and cutting mortgage rates.

I don't know whether he's right, but he made a creditable case. It's just interesting that after Hannity went on and on for hours and hours on the topic, he never once made a case even one-tenth as compelling. He scarcely ever cited a fact at all, and I'm not sure that he ever even mentioned Keynes.

It took the liberal media to do that.


Matt Singer said...

I think nationalizing failing banks makes sense. I don't understand a call for cutting mortgage rates (is he talking about cutting interest rates specifically for mortgages).

I stopped by his website and couldn't find a summary of his arguments. Any idea where the audio of the interview is?

David said...

He is talking about forcing rates down on homeowners who might otherwise face foreclosure. The audio is at

The best summary of his arguments on his website appears to be in his lead item: "Beyond the Age of Leverage: Alternative Cures for the Global Financial Crisis." It's not totally on point with what he was saying on the radio, but it's close.