Thursday, May 3, 2012

More Than Enough Austerity

I took plenty of economics way back in my college days and the econ faculty's orientation varied from a young extreme conservative who became quite well-known nationally to an older Marxist.  My major meant that I focused on the economics of employment.  The experience of the Great Depression was closer to everyone then--many on the faculty had lived through it.  Most understood that when demand, lack of, is the problem, austerity is not the solution.

How soon we forget!  Now we are starting to see that Europe, pressed by the Germans' somewhat understandable fear of inflation--understandable, even if erroneous--is realizing that austerity will not lift the continent out of the doldrums.  Yesterday, I heard part of a radio interview with Paul Krugman, one of the only columnists and commentators to understand this simple economic concept.

Amazing how the media--so often accused of catering to liberals--really is in thrall to conservative and reactionary economics.  Anyone who thinks that cutting spending and paying off the national debt will solve our unemployment and sluggish economy needs to listen to people like Krugman. But now the evidence is starting to come in from those who have really gone overboard on the deficit-reduction path and the results show that austerity is the prescription for continued poor economic performance.

America and its media are worshipful toward the private sector and corporate CEOs.  The theory must be that they must be worth something if they get paid so much.  In reality, of course, the CEOs realized that the added profit companies produced could readily be appropriated by the CEOs, aided by compliant boards. So when these "economic royalists"--to revive Franklin Roosevelt's excellent term for them--start pontificating about deficit reduction and the need for less regulation of business, we should treat it as the propaganda and b-s that it is.

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