An economics student approached his professor and said, “I don’t understand this stimulus bill. Can you explain it to me?” The professor replied, “If you come to my house on Saturday and help me with my weekend project, I’ll be glad to explain it to you.”
The student showed up at the professor’s house.
The professor said the weekend project involved his backyard pool. They went to the pool, and the professor handed the student a bucket. Demonstrating with his own bucket, the professor said, “First, go over to the deep end, and fill your bucket with as much water as you can.” The student did.
The professor continued, “Follow me over to the shallow end, and then dump all the water from your bucket into it.” The student was naturally confused, but did as he was told. The professor said they were going to do this many more times, and began walking back to the deep end of the pool. The student asked, “Why are we doing this?” The professor said he was trying to make the shallow end deeper.
After six trips between the shallow end and the deep end, the student worried that his professor had gone mad. The student finally said, “All we’re doing is wasting valuable time and effort on unproductive pursuits. Even worse, when this process is all over, everything will be at the same level it was before, so all you’ll really have accomplished is the destruction of what could have been truly productive action.”
The professor replied with a smile, “Congratulations. You now understand the stimulus bill.”