Monday, November 29, 2010

Nietzsche and The Great Recession

Great post by Brad DeLong:

Think of that when you consider this: The U.S. unemployment rate is stubbornly high, yet aid from a federal government that can borrow at unbelievably good terms could allow states to maintain their levels of public employment, and those public workers would then spend their incomes and so boost the number of private-sector jobs as well. But the voters are against that. No, they say. We have lost our jobs. It is only fair that those who work for the government lose their jobs as well -- never mind that each public-sector job lost triggers the destruction of yet another private-sector job. It's the underlying logic that has led to a wave of austerity across Europe that is now headed for America's shores. And it's the same logic that says, "It is only fair that homeowners lose their money" -- never mind that everyone's home prices will suffer. What does not kill me makes me stronger.


  1. This is rather timely, considering the recent offering by Macleans . It seems they have run the gamut, trashy daughters, out-performing Asian students, lazy twentysomethings, and now the boomers!

    I just cannot help but notice how this dovetails with Macleans' article. Now faced with difficult choices, it seems like those of the Teaparty variety are trying to distribute the misery to avoid losing their own benefits. Nevermind the fact that once a standard of living is destroyed or downgraded, it takes almost an entire generation to get it back. It makes sense though: Far better to blame the younger generation (like voting for Obama) for the ills of society and condemn them for what they can only speculate they will do in the future than to actually swallow some pride and take a cold hard look at their own generation has already done in the history of society when in positions of decision making power.

  2. As depressing as it is, the current larger conversation is fascinating. Here's another piece from Barry Eichengreen on on what he calls the Irish "reparations":
    The strangest of things is that the libertarian "economic" models actually have pull.