More from @NYTimesKrugman. This guy should be required reading.
Paul Krugman on the austerity fetishists. Why don’t we have someone like this with a platform like this up here?
H/t I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists.
The truth — although you’ll never hear this in Serious circles — is that we really should be increasing SS benefits. Why? Because the shift from defined-benefit pensions to defined contribution, the rise of the 401(k), has been a bust, and many older Americans will soon find themselves in dire straits. SS is the last defined-benefit pension still standing — thank you, Nancy Pelosi, for standing up to Bush — and should be strengthened, not weakened. So what’s this about? The answer, I fear, is that Obama is still trying to win over the Serious People, by showing that he’s willing to do what they consider Serious — which just about always means sticking it to the poor and the middle class.
I think it’s important to understand the extent to which leading Republicans live in an intellectual bubble. They get their news from Fox and other captive media, they get their policy analysis from billionaire-financed right-wing think tanks, and they’re often blissfully unaware both of contrary evidence and of how their positions sound to outsiders.
More from Paul Krugman. Why don’t we have a guy like this up here?
More fun facts about #Iceland, this time from @NYTimesKrugman.
- Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz: Iceland was right to jail the bankers
- Of course it helps to be sitting on top of a geyser farm
- Iceland was the only European country that dared to default on the bankers
- Iceland Erects Middle Finger, Wins in [Market-Ticker]
- Iceland’s approach to dealing with the meltdown has put the needs of its population ahead of the markets at every turn
… what we’ve just seen is a peek into the modern right-wing psyche, which is obsessed — more than anything else — with power. Policy is one thing; but equally or even more important is the sense of being with the winners, of being part of the team that will stamp its boots on the faces of the other guys. And while conservatives of that ilk would probably concede if pressed on it that there’s a difference between the perception of being on top and the reality determined in an election, emotionally they can’t separate the two: they perceive anyone suggesting that maybe they aren’t going to smash their opponents as a threat.
@NYTimesKrugman on #austerity and Europe’s apparent death wish
What we’re actually seeing, however, is complete inflexibility. In March, European leaders signed a fiscal pact that in effect locks in fiscal austerity as the response to any and all problems. Meanwhile, key officials at the central bank are making a point of emphasizing the bank’s willingness to raise rates at the slightest hint of higher inflation.
So it’s hard to avoid a sense of despair. Rather than admit that they’ve been wrong, European leaders seem determined to drive their economy — and their society — off a cliff. And the whole world will pay the price.
There’s the classic definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results — but Krugman argues that this goes beyond even that.
It’s really hard to imagine any set of criteria whereby this obsession with austerity could be judged a success, unless the objective is to entrench and aggravate suffering, misery and dislocation.
@NYTimesKrugman: Panic of the Plutocrats | #OccupyWallStreet #classwarfare
It remains to be seen whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will change America’s direction. Yet the protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent.
A succinct and eloquent explanation of why the Occupy movement is prompting such a hysterical reaction. As Krugman argues:
"Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is."
Too many gems to list here. Go read it now.