And that is the point, one I hope I can make rationally and without screaming at the keyboard.
Now I am not advocating starting a world war to stoke the economy. I'm just saying the reason the government spent all the money it could print in the 1940s and things actually got better was that the money went for SOMETHING. I make the same argument about the space program. The money does not end up buried in a big hole on the moon. It goes for things that are created--tangible things that go for wages at many levels down the chain and that gets recirculated. The guy who works the machine on the production line that stamps out o-rings for the rocket ship has a job and makes more money so he buys a house, a TV, a car and sends his kids to college, all of which keeps the money circulating. Or he invests some of it in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or CDs so the money gets reinvested to modernize a factory or add equipment or open a new plant somewhere so more people can be hired.
Yes, some of it went to the automakers who have factories producing something tangible, made by people who earn wages, but it will likely be used to pay down debt, modernize plants so fewer workers will be needed to make cars that consumers have already proved they don’t want to buy. To buy advertising to try to convince us we want that dog car. To meet pension obligations so those retirees who left after 20 years of service...at age 40...won't have to go back to work, God forbid.