Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Update: Stimulus Naming Deficit

Today President Obama signs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As I asked below, whatever its economic value, couldn't it have had a more stimulating name? Would a reassuring nickname or acronym help the program to create more confidence?

Reporters are calling it the "economic stimulus plan" or "economic recovery plan." Valpak, which distributes savings coupons, took out a full page in The New York Times to call their envelopes "The original Consumer Stimulus Package." (More colorful puns on "stimulus package" are showing up as well...far too colorful to be repeated here.) Would the fiscal package be more effective, wrapped as distinctively as those blue Valpak envelopes?

But then, there's a time for generics. Maybe this was a communication strategy: by not making the name too proprietary or distinctive, make it easier for Obama's aides to negotiate the contents, and the votes.

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