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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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More Economic Stimulus?

August 29, 2011, 1:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Weeks ahead of President Obama's request that the Congress act to spur economic growth, a debate rages about what, if anything, should be done. Economists disagree on the matter. "The Obama stimulus is an example of bad advice leading to bad policy. Much of the pressure for additional stimulus now comes from those who want to repeat their error," says Professor Allan Meltzer of Carnegie Mellon. Richard Koo of the Nomura Research Institute argues that the balance sheets of businesses are so anemic that something must be done. He uses 1990s Japan as an example.

What's the Big Idea?

The $800 billion federal stimulus package of 2009 has helped the economy. According to the Office of Budget and Management, the economy is 0.8-2.5% stronger than it would have been absent the Obama stimulus. But given how slow the economic recovery continues to be, this data is hardly a convincing argument for another round of government action. Compromises made by policy makers have worsened matters by making tax cuts temporary, thus encouraging people to save rather than spend, while stimulus money has been slow to reach those who need it. 


More Economic Stimulus?

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