So the point was?


Simon Wren-Lewis writes with feeling about the “austerity deception“; what sets him off is a post that characterizes the whole austerity debate as being about “big-state” versus “small-state” people.

Wren-Lewis’s point is that only one side of the debate saw it that way. Opponents of austerity in a depressed economy opposed it because they believed that this would worsen the depression — and they were right.

Proponents of austerity, however, were lying about their motives. Strong words, but if you look at their recent reactions it becomes clear that all the claims about expansionary austerity, 90 percent cliffs and all that were just excuses for an agenda of dismantling the welfare state. That in turn helps explain why the intellectual collapse of their supposed arguments has made no difference to their policy position.

One interesting point, which Wren-Lewis gets at and I’ve mentioned on other occasions, is that the austerity side of this debate isn’t just disingenuous; it doesn’t seem to comprehend the notion that other people might actually argue in good faith. No time to do the link right now, but back when we were discussing stimulus many people on the right, economists like Lucas included, simply assumed that people like Christy Romer were making stuff up to serve a political agenda. And now I think we can see why they made this assumption — after all, that’s how they work.

When it comes to the right wing, Krugman has always missed the obvious.

One Response to So the point was?

  1. imhotep September 26, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    The real wages of American workers have not increased since Ronald Reagan was the president. As a matter of fact they have declined over that 30 year period. As Robert Reich points out someone making $30,000 a year in1980, is now making $25,000 a year for doing the same job. That decline in wages reduces tax revenues to the government which in turn increase the deficit and debt. Capitalists (the 1%) in both the Republican and Democratic parties are responsible for engineering this debacle for obvious reasons. Reagan, Clinton, both Bush’s, and Obama to name 5. The 1% can buy one or many economists (and politicians) to tell the public whatever the 1% wants them to to be told. Because most of the public doesn’t even know how to make change.

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