Your Letters: Economists At Odds

We heard from many listeners about a conversation last week with two of the nation's top economists, Joseph Stiglitz of Colombia University and John Taylor of Stanford University. Guest host John Ydstie reads listener comments on this story and more.

JOHN YDSTIE, host: Time for your letters. We heard from many listeners about my conversation last week with two of the nation's top economists, Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University:

JOSEPH STIGLITZ: The stimulus actually worked. If it had not been for the stimulus, the unemployment rate would have peaked somewhere around 12-and-a-half, 13 percent. With the stimulus, it was brought down to 10 percent.

YDSTIE: And John Taylor of Stanford University:

JOHN TAYLOR: I have looked at this with the numbers, looked at what happened, traced the money, and I do not find an impact.

YDSTIE: Keta Hodgson from West Hollywood, California writes: Our economy is in deep trouble and if the experts are so far apart on what to do about it, what are our leaders in Washington and state capitals supposed to do? I also talked to NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax about the economy. She said that there are some silver linings in the gloomy economic picture. That pleased David Bentley of Friday Harbor, Washington. In a world dominated by the inability to compromise, he wrote, I do feel that Ms. Geewax has given us all a shred of hope, and that might be just the kind stimulation we need to hang on and move beyond depression, both emotionally and economically. Also last week I spoke to legendary guitarist Steve Cropper about his new album, a tribute to the Five Royales. Wendy Schweiger posted on our Facebook wall: Excellent segment. Steve Cropper is one of my musical icons, one of the handful of guitar players who turned me early in life into a passionate lover of guitar players.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

YDSTIE: We welcome your comments. Go to NPR.org and click on the link that says Contact Us. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook at NPRWeekend.

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