Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Getting shrill

- Krugman talks more about the rentier. I'm generally not much of a class warrior, but blatantly regressive policies sure do push me in that direction (btw - I hope people got my reference in the Kevorkian post - there wasn't much commentary but I was pretty proud of that!).

- Howard Gleckman says, in no uncertain terms, that Republican spending cuts would be terrible for the economy. This is good to see. Often, the Urban Institute's quite responsible position on the budget and unmanageable deficits (which was one of the things that first attracted me to UI) can overshadow the fact that deficits have different implications in depressions. It's good to see Gleckman coming out strong on this. We need spending right now. We need deficit reduction later.

Everything that non-political stimulus advocates said would play out has played out. All the evidence of the bond markets, all the evidence in inflation, and all the evidence in the real economy butresses the case of non-political stimulus advocates. Why do I say "non-political stimulus advocates"? Because as Christie Romer points out, politics distorts the science. We need:

2. An abolition of as many state balanced budget requirements as we can get
3. A job creation tax credit along the lines of the one proposed by Tim Bartik and John Bishop
4. More fiscal stimulus with emphasis on infrastructure and other spending and investment programs that will end by their very nature (rather than new benefits or entitlements that will stick around)

I don't know if this will be "enough" - perhaps we'll never be able to do "enough". But the point is we can do better than we're doing now and better than what we've done. And what is the worst that could happen if we overshoot? Then we're just erring on the side of progressive policies whereas before we were erring on the side of regressive policies. After a period of stagnant wage growth and increasing inequality, that's not the worst thing in the world.

I'm sick of seeing people continue to struggle with this downturn while ostensibly liberal politicians ignore them, and when we have remedies available that don't threaten the market, the Constitution, or the republic.

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