Friday, April 27. 2012
I haven't had much time to post, or even surf, this week, but I do want to point out two remarkable charts from Paul Krugman's blog.
First, under Cameron's Remarkable Achievement, shows that the austerity program of Britain's Tory/Liberal government has managed to drag the recovery into a ditch, making this recession worse in the UK than the Great Depression was:
Of course, Britain in the 1930s was home not just of Keynesianism but of John Maynard Keynes himself. I dare say no current economist will make a comparable mark without a fundamental change in politics, since the whole mantra of austerity is little more than ideological cover for an upper class which would rather wreck the economy than lose even a tad of their relative advantage.
The second one is from American Austerity, which tracks public employment under the first terms of Clinton and Bush -- you may recall, Clinton inherited a recession in 1992, and Bush had one develop as the stock market deleveraged from the dot-com boom and 9/11 happened -- and Obama, who inherited a grossly larger recession. Obama, with a fairly large stimulus program, should have far exceeded either of them, but in fact he's had the rug pulled out from under his administration with massive cuts, mostly at the state and local level:
Krugman's been beating on the austerity fad all week, especially in his column: Death of a Fairy Tale, but also in blog pieces like The New Voodoo (another chart there, plotting austerity vs. change in GDP and showing that it consistently reduces growth, often winding up on the negative side), and The Secret of Our Non-success (another chart on how government expenditures, exclusive of transfers, have plumetted), and It's All So Confusing, including this quote from Dean Baker:
And next week he'll have a book out to reiterate all of this, and remind us he's been right all along. Which he has been.