With Friends Like These…

I usually really enjoy reading Megan McArdle’s blog.  I find her to be one of the most consistently interesting and entertaining writers out there.  I also appreciate her customary libertarian perspective, which is why in recent days I’ve been very disappointed by the manner in which she has endorsed the bevy of government schemes being hurled out of Washington in the hopes of averting a recession.

It’s really not so much that she thinks the government needs to intervene to save the market.  I surely disagree with her, but reasonable have been known to do so from time to time.  What troubles me most is the intensity of her rhetoric, see here and here.  It’s not often that you’ll find me celebrating the wisdom of FDR, but do think he had some sage advice to offer when he counseled the nation that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  He may have overstated the case when he called it the “only thing,” it turned out the Nazis were a pretty dangerous threat after all, but given the calamaties we’ve already precipitated by acting too hastily over the last decade, taking a step back to assess the distance across the gorge one more time before we leap hardly seems like the worst thing we could be doing right now.

I can only hope that in time things will be resolved sensibly and with only modest pain and that Megan can offer a brief apology for her moment of hysteria before returning to more fascinating topics.



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