Central bankers seem to be the only policymakers both willing and able to respond to many unusual challenges. Yes they are using imperfect tools. Yes the outcomes of their actions involve collateral damage and unintended consequences. But they see all this as preferable to the alternative of doing nothing.
If you watched any of the PBS encore broadcast of the Ken Burns documentary, The War, this past week, you have some sense of what kind of a production machine can be energized by government contracts in the face of a depressed economy. There is so much that we could spend that money on -- energy self sufficiency, infrastructure, a smart electrical grid, public transportation, better education at all levels -- all of which would not only create economic activity and jobs, but would make for a more productive economy. But nothing like this is part of the mainstream conversation. If you propose this sort of thing, you are packed off to the Museum of Un-reconstructed Keynesians. White House economists quietly admit that you are right, but you are politically radioactive (even with a Nobel Prize.)