What is the proper role of government in times of economic crisis?  

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The consensus opinion among the vast majority economists about the government's role in the time of economic crisis is Keynesian—that the federal government is there to prop up the situation by providing support and stimulus. The role of any responsible modern nation-state during an economic crisis is to lower interest rates and pump money into the economy when demand for goods and consumption of goods drops off sharply. Otherwise, economies collapse, leading to widespread suffering and instability.

We have governments for a reason, not simply because they are a fact of nature like the sun or the moon. They are expensive and cumbersome and never manage to please everyone. Nevertheless, we finance and put up with them because they are a social good, and they protect (or should protect—that's what we are paying for) the general well-being of a nation. A chief part of that is doing everything they can to promote economic stability and widespread prosperity so a nation can be strong and...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 10, 2020