Classic Cartoon on So-Called Stimulus Is Amusing and Economically Accurate

People often ask why I put so much political humor on this site. The easy answer is that I like a good joke.

But I also find that some cartoons and jokes do a very good job of helping people understand economics. I’ve always liked this cartoon, for instance, because it cleverly illustrates the impact of government handouts on the labor market. And looking at that cartoon is a lot quicker than taking a class about labor economics.

Well, you can also skip the class about public finance. Here’s a cartoon that shows the economic burden of government “stimulus” spending.

Very funny and very intellectually sound. Indeed, the only thing that would have made the cartoon even better would have been showing that the jockey became bloated by eating the horse’s food. But I reckon it’s not easy making multiple points with one picture.

Anyhow, I’m disappointed that I didn’t notice it at Reason.com a couple of years ago when the debate on the faux stimulus was taking place. It probably would have helped more people understand that you don’t boost economic performance by draining resources from the productive sector of the economy to finance a larger government.

By the way, if you want to understand in greater detail why the cartoon is accurate, this video on Keynesian economics is helpful, as is this video explaining the failure of Obama’s $1 trillion boondoggle.

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