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<<The idea that the economy will recover on its own belongs on the same crap-heap of ideas.>>

I will start this out by freely admitting I haven't earned any credentials in any field that could possibly provide a concrete answer to this question, but I think the outright dismissal of the idea that government intervention wasn't necessary is just as wrong as any example you may provide. These ideas aren't invalid just because you don't agree with them.

What evidence have you to support your argument that the economy wouldn't have recovered on its own? None. We didn't take that path and so cannot know what would have happened. At this point in time, you also have precious little evidence that government intervention has actually helped the economy.

As a scientist you may be familiar with the theory that observing a system alters that system therby invalidating any observation you make, as well as the impossibility of observing a system from within that system.

A good deal of credentialed economists believe that the exact problem with our economy is the government's refusal to let the market price assets and the fear and uncertainty surrounding the viability of the banks for that reason.

So should we be letting the market (or economy) correct itself rapidly and harshly and move onto rebuilding, or should we slowly ease ourselves into the vat of crap and suffer the long slog out?

Like so many things in this universe, there isn't a clear-cut single answer, as much as we would like there to be. This isn't a math equation, this is life. If it could all be boiled down to a few variables, it wouldn't be worth living. But that's my uncredentialed opinion and should not be taken as investment advice.
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