Re "The stimulus: Did it really help?" (Business, Feb 18):The notion that "comparing policy outcomes with an ideal result ... is an impossible test" is true only because of the requirement for "an ideal result."
What can be compared is the historical result of a specific policy -- from price fixing causing food shortages in ancient Rome, to the 30-year recovery from Japan's 1980 recession.
Obama tried the Japanese model. It didn't work then, and doesn't seem to be working now.
There have been many recessions in U.S. history. Surely there is a record of what has worked well and what has worked poorly. And there is. The economy tends to recover faster when the government does nothing. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for a politician to run on "I did/will do nothing."
-- John Paul, Carmichael