The test of our understanding of climate and the effect of our decisions is our predictions. With that in mind, I refer you all to the great series at Innocent Bystanders comparing current unemployment to the government's predictions. The relevant chart is below. The light blue line is the prediction of unemployment without the bailout, the dark blue line was the justification for the bailout:
The dots rising above those lines are the actual unemployment numbers. Connect the dots and we get the real figures for the "With the Recovery Plan." If we accept that the original prediction was correct, the bailout clearly made things much worse.
Via Instapundit, PoliticalMath.com offers this helpful video illustration of what this all means.
Why did the bailout fail? Because actions matter less than people's reactions to them (S-RULE 2.3.1 Action and Reaction). The government is under the delusion that it controls the country, but, in reality, the decisions of the billions of independent decision-makers control the country (not only here, but in places like China). The objective injection of money was defeated by the subjective messages that the bailout sends (S-RULE 1.2 Objective and Subjective Positions) to all those making decisions about hiring and firing. To those big companies that never create new jobs (S-RULE 3.4 Dis-Economies of Scale), the bailout says that, "The government will come to your rescue and protect your from bad decisions." To the small businesses, the main creators of new jobs, the message is, "Protect yourself, don't risk expanding and hiring people because the government will take your profits to support the companies that are too big to fail." Because the government doesn't let the dead tree fall, those dead tree are blocking the light that would let the next generation of successful decisions makers rise.