Austria was successful in pushing through policies that are popular all over the world. Austria has the most impressive records in five lines: she increased public expenditures, she increased wages, she increased social benefits, she increased bank credits, she increased consumption. After all these achievements she was on the verge of ruin.
Government spending cannot create additional jobs. If the government provides the funds required by taxing the citizens or by borrowing from the public, it abolishes on the one hand as many jobs as it creates on the other. If government spending is financed by borrowing from the commercial banks, it means credit expansion and inflation.
The longer the boom of inflationary bank credit continues, the greater the scope of malinvestments in capital goods, and the greater the need for liquidation of these unsound investments. When the credit expansion stops, reverses, or even significantly slows down, the malinvestments are revealed.
No very deep knowledge of economics is usually needed for grasping the immediate effects of a measure; but the task of economics is to foretell the remoter effects, and so to allow us to avoid such acts as attempt to remedy a present ill by sowing the seeds of a much greater ill for the future.
How can anyone in his right mind think that our economic sluggishness is due to insufficient deficits and a timid Fed? Plenty do. It is a case of denial of an obvious fact: the entire Keynesian/government approach to stimulus has been a catastrophic failure.
Contrary to most experts, including Bernanke, the more aggressive the Fed's policies are, the worse the economy is going to be. If all that is required to revive the economy is pushing more money, then all third-world economies would be very wealthy by now.
There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.
The correct conclusion in my view is that we need to be pre-emptive in avoiding these types of problems in the future. Monetary policy should not be aimed at cleaning up a mess, but leaning against the wind to avoid the mess in the future.