....one main reason we’ve done so little about unemployment is the preaching of deficit scolds, who have wrapped themselves in the mantle of long-run responsibility — which they have managed to get identified in the public mind almost entirely with holding down government debt.
This never made sense even in its own terms. As some of us have tried to explain, debt, while it can pose problems, doesn’t make the nation poorer, because it’s money we owe to ourselves. Anyone who talks about how we’re borrowing from our children just hasn’t done the math.
After our deregulated banking oligarchs crashed the economy, those politicians who had helped the most in making it all possible were the first to shout "stop" when it came to minimizing the damage those oligarchs had created. Three Republicans (no doubt RINO's) voted with Democrats in the Senate to pass the one and only stimulus bill permitted after our worst modern recession.
For the last four years gridlock, brinksmanship and obstruction have kept the government from increasing spending to create jobs. Conservatives like to talk at length about 'economic growth'.....but they have done everything in their power these last five years to keep economic growth from happening.
Economic growth can only occur with increased spending. Full stop. Without increased spending, the economy does not grow. The economy is like the stock market.....without new spending on the daily Ponzi-auction stock exchanges, the stock indexes can not 'grow.' Same with the national economy.
But what does the world's largest economy do when consumer spending (2/3rds of our economy) can not increase because consumers do not have the wherewithal to spend more? Then what?
The Republican and Centrist answer has been to focus on cutting government spending, cutting business regulations and cutting taxes on the so-called job creators. In this, a lack-of-demand-by-consumers problem is turned on it's head and made to appear as if our problems are because the supply siders are not rich and free enough.
Cutting government spending has resulted in 700,000 government jobs being eliminated, which has made our number one problem of unemployment even worse. Cutting taxes and regulations on the nation's wealthiest puts no additional dollars into the hands of consumers and therefore, does absolutely nothing to confront our number one problem....Americans need jobs.
Though Republican and Centrist "solutions" do not address our number one national problem....at all....and instead, make the problem worse, as all evidence attests, they continue their almost-hysterical push to cut even more government spending.
Again, if economic growth is impossible without increased spending....and it is....where will that spending come from? Has private industry been spending enough money to grow the economy? No....and why would they, if consumer demand doesn't warrant expansion or new hires? I mean, private business is not a charitable organization, right?
That only leaves government spending. Business can't justify new spending and consumers do not have the money to spend following the Lesser Great Depression. That only leaves government spending. And yet, the response by the Serious to government spending to stopgap our economic slide has been met with scorn and ridicule.....and dishonest posturing....
Krugman captures this dynamic perfectly.....
We can’t spend more money on jobs, say these voices, because that would mean more debt. We can’t even hire unemployed workers and put idle savings to work building roads, tunnels, schools. Never mind the short run, we have to think about the future!
Now we find that the "future" so many of the Serious are oh-so-concerned about is in jeopardy of having permanent damage done to it.
This new IMF report details how what the Serious have needlessly and recklessly done to our depressed economy by refusing to allow more government spending, and, instead, cutting government spending.....will leave our national economy permanently disfigured.
The IMF's conclusion? "....by tolerating high unemployment we have inflicted huge damage on our long-run prospects." Why?
The long-term unemployed eventually come to be seen as unemployable; business investment lags thanks to weak sales; new businesses don’t get started; and existing businesses skimp on research and development.
Our Serious leaders have chosen to do permanent damage to our nation's economy by refusing to allow more government spending when more government spending is the only way to save our once-robust economy from permanent and, perhaps, irreversible damage.
Economic growth comes from increased spending. Private business has no reason to spend more because demand doesn't warrant it. That only leaves new government spending. New government spending is the last thing the Serious will allow to happen.
The only conclusion I can draw from this is that Republicans, conservatives and the media that serves them......wanted our national economy to have permanent damage done to it. Which seems to me like....treason....but that couldn't possibly be, could it?
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