Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Good Economics vs. Bad Economics-You Choose

It's time to choose sides. Despite what you hear on the money programs and from the Wall Street cheerleaders, there are very good economists who think austerity economics is a bad idea. Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, our most recent Nobel economists, are on the Democratic side of this argument, the side of the 99%. Others are stepping up too.

"On November 13th 2011, economists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst drafted an open statement to the Occupy Wall Street movement pledging their support. Since then, more than 250 economists from around the world have added their names. Read more at "

To be fair, there are two sides to this argument. Having watched the documentary Inside Job, I know that some economists know exactly who butters their bread and it isn't working people. It's the people who now have all the money who butter their bread. Some economists are happy to tailor their ideas to suit their benefactors.

Then there are the mouthpieces for the 1%, who earn a lot of money just by being mouthpieces. For instance, there's Ann Coulter, who said recently that she thinks the horrible dirty worthless people of the Occupy movement should be gunned down by the police. It worked on the Vietnam protesters, she says.

Larry Summers, who led Obama's economic team, doesn't come off very well in Inside Job, but he is on the right side of the argument now, favoring aggressive stimulus and tax cuts to working people––instead of more billions thrown at the rich, at corporations and banks. He's no fool.

Concentrated wealth got us here. It made our economy topheavy and fragile. It sucked the life out of the consumer economy by making working people less prosperous and less able to make ends meet.

Our economy will only revive when working people feel prosperous again, confident that their jobs are secure, that their health and their families are secure, that their children have a future. We need to shift from the Reagan economics of concentrated wealth. Those economic policies promoted and exploited broad insecurity and vulnerability rather than broad prosperity and strength.

Today, more than 2 million Brits took to the streets to protest their government's austerity policy. What is Austerity? It's the rich elite's answer to global recession. "We have money so we get to buy. Everybody else is poor, so they should live that way."


That is where austerity measures bite. They bite the poor, the working people, the middle class who are getting poorer every year. Austerity bites the victims of the global collapse which was caused by the very rich.

In this country it's the Republican economic policy. They want most Americans to be a lot poorer, a lot less secure. When Americans are afraid they work harder and longer for less. That's the long term Republican goal. In the short term the Republicans simply want Americans to suffer, figuring an unhappy populace will vote for Republicans next year. They are happy for Americans to fail in order for Obama to fail.

Do you want to see what effect Republican policies have? Look at the map of the British austerity measures put in place by their Conservative government.

Austerity doesn't work during a recession. It hasn't before. It won't now. Imagine an airline pilot in a stalling aircraft. Does he see the emergency as an opportunity to save fuel? No. He pushes the pedal down and accelerates out of the dive.

Here are some sound commentaries from economists on the intelligent side of this argument, setting out the dire consequences of these ugly conservative policies. From

From CNN

Here's Robert Reich's useful and persuasive debunking of the Republican austerity policies.

Sadly, cable television is dominated by a Republican network and talk radio is all Republican all the time. And a lot of Americans are easy to fool.

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