Christopher Caldwell in the FT:
Stimulus, many economists have stressed of late, is about restoring what John Maynard Keynes called animal spirits. Keynes meant something like “morale”. But there is a more animal sense to “animal spirits” that appeals to the broad publi They are willing to be excited by what their government can do. But where is the Tennessee Valley Authority in all this? The Concorde-type project? The Apollo programme? Such initiatives work not just on economic fundamentals but also on the public’s entrepreneurial imagination and its optimism. But this bill is about funding babysitters, writing unemployment cheques and installing septic tanks with not enough money left over to give even one city a subway system.
Me: After Obama was elected, I jokingly emailed one his economic advisers and asked when they were going to build a bullet train from my home into DC. Now it looks maybe I'll get some more potholes filled.