Sunday, April 28, 2013

What Krugman doesn't say

For Paul Krugman, the role of Cassandra has to weigh like a curse he didn't earn.

look at the predictions the two sides in this debate have made. People like me predicted right from the start that large budget deficits would have little effect on interest rates, that large-scale “money printing” by the Fed (not a good description of actual Fed policy, but never mind) wouldn’t be inflationary, that austerity policies would lead to terrible economic downturns. The other side jeered, insisting that interest rates would skyrocket and that austerity would actually lead to economic expansion. Ask bond traders, or the suffering populations of Spain, Portugal and so on, how it actually turned out.
Of course, Cassandra didn't earn hers, either.

The people who oppose stimulus aren't all ignoramuses. Sure, they've bought the fealty of the Republican Party, and it's filled with ignoramuses who are so unprincipled they'll say anything to keep the Koch up their nose. But the billionaires aren't foolish men.

It's clear that a stimulated economy is a bigger economy. The plutocrats don't care. They have plenty, and they want more, but there's something they want more than larger fortunes.

They want a docile, servile, and inexpensive workforce (that's us) whom they can dispose of on whim. They want to run everything.

Extreme inequality of income and wealth is not an accidental outcome of their policy preferences. It's their underlying goal. With the rest of us in penury or afraid of it, their lives become much simpler. That's what they want.

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