Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anyone Who Doesn't Have a Job Should Realize It's Because Our Politicians Decided It Didn't Matter Whether They Have One or Not

And if you're afraid to leave your job because of the recession, it's because politicians have decided that they don't care if there are more jobs or not.

And if you know anyone who's suffering due to the economy, it's because politicians have decided that they don't care if there are more jobs or not.

The horrible situation is not a natural event we can't control. It's something that is being allowed to happen because the people who rule our country don't care enough to change it.

All of this by way of introducing this quote from Paul Krugman:
It has been more than four years since the US economy first entered recession—and although the recession may have ended, the depression has not. Unemployment may be trending down a bit in the United States (though it’s rising in Europe), but it remains at levels that would have been inconceivable not long ago—and are unconscionable now. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens are suffering vast hardship, the future prospects of today’s young people are being eroded with each passing month—and all of it is unnecessary.

For the fact is that we have both the knowledge and the tools to get out of this depression. Indeed, by applying time-honored economic principles whose validity has only been reinforced by recent events, we could be back to more or less full employment very fast, probably in less than two years. All that is blocking recovery is a lack of intellectual clarity and political will.
"Somebody chose their pain, what needn't have happened did", as Auden famously put it.

Rage would not be an unreasonable response.

Oh, and while I'm at it, another juicy quote from the same article (which is worth reading in its entirety):
And recent experience also teaches us a crucial political lesson: it’s much better to stand up for what you believe, to make the case for what really should be done, than to try to seem moderate and reasonable by essentially accepting your opponents’ arguments. Compromise, if you must, on the policy—but never on the truth.
...In other words, Obama was an idiot to crow that the stimulus he got passed in early 2009 was enough when he knew, or ought to have known, that it damn well wasn't.

(I have to say, Krugman was right about Obama back in 2008 when a great many of us were wrong. It was the first time since I've begun reading his journalism that I've thought, on a major issue and in a sustained way, he was wrong about something... and it was I who was wrong. Just sayin'.)


Debra said...

"Whether" is sufficient every time and "OR$ NOT" is just not helpful.

Stephen said...


I've been turning this over in my mind since you left this comment, and I can't quite decide -- if you'll forgive me for putting it this way -- whether you're right or not. I made a slight edit to the post title, although I suspect it won't satisfy you (if you happen back here, I'm curious whether I'm right about that... or not. (Now I can't stop.))

And thanks for your comment on my other post, too.