Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Politicians cling to economic austerity despite dismal performance

Economic austerity is one of those things that just sounds logical and right. How can a country have a healthy economy if it is billions or trillions of dollars in debt? Based on this overly simplified notion, and flawed research, nations primarily in Europe began cutting spending and taxes several years ago. Some economists (lead by Paul Krugman and Brad Delong) warned that this was the wrong approach based on economic realities, but politicians loved the idea of looking fiscally responsible, and implemented Draconian spending cuts.

After three years we can see tangible results, and they clearly show that austerity policies are an abysmal failure, just as Krugman predicted they would be. As Sally Kohn points out in her opinion piece, The Facts are in:Austerity Politics Doesn’t Work, in countries where austerity policies were implemented, deficits have remained high and unemployment has increased. Unfortunately for the citizens of these countries, their leaders are continuing to beat the dead horse of austerity, too prideful and embarrassed to admit they were wrong, prolonging unnecessary pain and suffering.

No comments: