Stuart Torr writes to me:
I've been reading many economics blogs since the start of the crisis (and well before) and I've listened to all the Econtalk podcasts on the crisis. Some of the skepticism comes from the projects not being "shovel ready" and taking too long to have a real stimulative impact. South Africa didn't have a banking crisis but we had a dramatic housing bubble (by far the most dramatic in the world in % terms from checking the back of "the Economist") and we did enter recession after the crisis hit. We also have massive investment in infrastructure because of the World Cup and those projects were only really getting going when the crisis hit. I'm sure there are technical reasons why this isn't relevant to the stimulus debate, but I've barely even seen it mentioned anywhere. Is it really that irrelevant?
Unemployment in South Africa had been 23.5 percent. Yet, after the collapse and response, the unemployment rate is still rising and see also here for further information. It's like trying to catch a falling knife, there is more information here.
I don't know much about the South African economy, but I would think it is especially difficult to target many of the unemployed resources there. There is weak infrastructure, many language groups, large distances, and a lack of political unity.
What do you all know about this case?