Joseph Stiglitz: We had the tech bubble, followed by the housing bubble. But once we fix the recent mess, what will replace these bubbles as the engine for the economy?
Feldstein: What will replace the consumer spending bubble?
(Both men): We run the risk of the economy becoming depend on constant stimulus to replace these bubbles.
Stiglitz: I worry that after two years of stimulus, that the economy won’t be going on its own, and then what will we do?
Our economy is dashing about, looking for distractions to inflate its value, so we don’t realize that most people in jobs could be replaced by Perl scripts, and that very little of what we do is actually productive — it’s moving money around, converting it into different forms, selling each other dreams. Pay it forward, the mandatory version. Without new investors into the Ponzi, whether clueless immigrants or globalized partners or new bubbles, we’re all going to see the naked truth about how little this giant crock is worth.