Something Not Always Better than Nothing
Let’s say that TARP proponents are right and that some program to pump a great deal of money into banks is better than just letting them fail. It does not then therefore follow, as night to day, that this package–or any politically feasible package–is better than nothing. It can be true that Ideal>0 without being true that 1/2ideal+compromise>0.
That, of course, presumes that “better” is definied as “helping fix the economy” rather than “helping politicians get re-elected.” Politically, doing anything is better than doing nothing.
Economically, Megan’s no doubt right. Especially since nobody, not even the indispensible Timothy Geithner, has the slightest clue how various attempts at stimulus will actually impact the gigantic chaos that is our global economy.