The hard way.

“If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months,”–Paul Krugman, discussing an alternate means of economic stimulus.
“I guess the big danger to such massive defense spending is that we might end up as a military city-state perpetually at war with aliens.”–“Gordon Freeman”, as portrayed by Ross Scott, in episode 16 of his hilarious series Freeman’s Mind. (He’s not talking about Krugman at all, yet it seemed an appropriate quote.)

P.M. Prescott had a good post responding to my post about militaristic Keynesianism. He made some good points, in particular, about the slightly dystopian shape such a stimulus method might take.

There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s a sub-optimal way of achieving a Keynesian stimulus; and it’s even possible it could be more trouble than it’s worth, as military build-ups themselves sometimes lead to wars. Even if that were averted, we run the risk of becoming a militaristic, Spartan–or worse, decadent Roman–society if vastly more military spending were pursued.

Obviously, it’s much less painful to just pay for increased benefits to the poor, and some infrastructure projects. But, as Krugman and Prescott both rightly show, the more fantastic and dire scenarios are a more politically realistic means. That’s rather depressing.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?