I don't claim any special expertise in economics. I treat it like I do any highly technical field that still requires a citizen to develop an informed opinion about because of the political decisions it affects. I read a lot and try to evaluate the credibility of the various expert opinions out there.
Now, it's always possible some outlier opinion will prove to be correct, but those outliers still need to make a reasoned and reasonable argument that fits the facts. There's no shortage of crackpots in any technical field, but time has a way of weeding them out. Sooner of later there has to be something proved out. This was the problem with cold fusion, for example. To a lay person it all sounded reasonable enough, but after all this time they've never actually managed to do it.
A counter example is the warm-blooded dinosaur theory. At first this was a real outlier, although the scientists making the argument seemed to have a good point. As time passed more evidence supporting the theory mounted. It made predictions that subsequent research verified and it's now reached the status of conventional wisdom.
Presently the government is floating some ideas that will supposedly mitigate the housing crisis. The problem is that there have been some critics warning for several years that the housing bubble was becoming a real problem and predicting dire consequences. The bubble's defenders pooh-poohed the problems, saying things have changed and the old rules no longer apply. As a reasonably-informed citizen this line of argument actually concerned me, because it seems to be a common refrain among the misguided in any field involving human actors -- things are different this time.
Of course, they rarely are different, because people are the same. Whether it's military strategy, political truths or economic fundamentals, one can rest assured that the more things change the more they stay the same. So anyone arguing that an activity that revolves largely around the human element has undergone some fundamental shift that means that time-tested rules of thumb no longer apply should be immediately suspect. Science and engineering may find entirely new ways of doing things that invalidate prior experience -- but war, politics and economics don't.
The housing bubble critics say that the government interventions that are being considered are too little, too late and will probably just make things worse. So who is more credible? The critics who said there was a bubble, or the bubble deniers who said everything was just fine?