Saturday, February 02, 2013

They'll never forgive him for their being wrong...

Because our "serious people" are seriously stupid and petty...and they'll take us down with 'em:

What actually happened was an economic stall. Before the turn to austerity, Britain was recovering more or less in tandem with the United States. Since then, the U.S. economy has continued to grow, although more slowly than we’d like — but Britain’s economy has been dead in the water.
At this point, you might have expected austerity advocates to consider the possibility that there was something wrong with their analysis and policy prescriptions. But no. They went looking for new heroes and found them in the small Baltic nations, Latvia in particular, a nation that looms amazingly large in the austerian imagination. 

At one level this is kind of funny: austerity policies have been applied all across Europe, yet the best example of success the austerians can come up with is a nation with fewer inhabitants than, say, Brooklyn. Still, the International Monetary Fund recently issued two new reports on the Latvian economy, and they really help put this story into perspective. 

To be fair to the Latvians, they do have something to be proud of. After experiencing a Great-Depression-level slump, their economy has experienced two years of solid growth and falling unemployment. Despite that growth, however, they have only regained part of the lost ground in terms of either output or employment — and the unemployment rate is still 14 percent. If this is the austerians’ idea of an economic miracle, they truly are the children of a lesser god. 

Oh, and if we’re going to invoke the experience of small nations as evidence about what economic policies work, let’s not forget the true economic miracle that is Iceland — a nation that was at ground zero of the financial crisis, but which, thanks to its embrace of unorthodox policies, has almost fully recovered. 

So what do we learn from the rather pathetic search for austerity success stories? We learn that the doctrine that has dominated elite economic discourse for the past three years is wrong on all fronts. Not only have we been ruled by fear of nonexistent threats, we’ve been promised rewards that haven’t arrived and never will. It’s time to put the deficit obsession aside and get back to dealing with the real problem — namely, unacceptably high unemployment.


Anonymous said...

Krugman rubs their noses in it. Again.

StonyPillow said...

Thirty nine lashes, well laid on.

But Krugthulu needs to give up on the starter -- it doesn't satisfy.

Anonymous said...

Austerity for the poor failed.... okay!

Time to try some austerity for the rich....!

Stop letting them hide their dough from the tax man in all their tax havens.

Stop letting them pay taxes at a lower rate for their speculation than we do on our hard work.

I like a flat rate tax--- a low percentage tax applied to every financial transaction, including ordinary purchases like houses and cars, stock market transactions and even taking cash out of an ATM so it can't be totally skirted by using cash.

That's actually an easy fix--- the banks just hold on to the cash and the govt buys it from them so everybody has to do their transactions via cards.

Taxes are for everybody, my friend, not just the poor.

pansypoo said...

since obama was REelected. all they have now is to make him LOOK BAD. so they will, however they can.

Anonymous said...

The only reason Latvia's unemployment rate dropped even to an atrocious 14% was that something like a tenth of the working population left the country to seek jobs in the EU.

The deficit was never a giant threat to the economy. It was the biggest threat to the bond holdings of the rich and corporations, which is why it was prioritized by the well-paid whores of the economic establishment.
The Deficit Bogeyman is also a handy cudgel to restrain Democrats from implementing programs that are popular among the population. The teatards who are screaming about deficits now didn't give a crap when Reagan and the Bushes were racking them up with no recession in sight, and will stop giving a crap the moment they take the White House again.