sabato 21 agosto 2010

Krugman e gli austeriani

Dalle colonne del New York Times Paul Krugman se la prende con gli austeriani (i fautori dell'austerità a tutti i costi) per il rallentamento dell'economia U.S.A. e la continua discesa dei tassi di interesse:

So how do austerians deal with the reality of interest rates that are plunging, not soaring? The latest fashion is to declare that there’s a bubble in the bond market: investors aren’t really concerned about economic weakness; they’re just getting carried away. It’s hard to convey the sheer audacity of this argument: first we were told that we must ignore economic fundamentals and instead obey the dictates of financial markets; now we’re being told to ignore what those markets are actually saying because they’re confused.
You see, then, why I find myself thinking in terms of strange and savage cults, demanding human sacrifices to appease unseen forces.
And, yes, we are talking about sacrifices. Anyone who doubts the suffering caused by slashing spending in a weak economy should look at the catastrophic effects of austerity programs in Greece and Ireland.
Maybe those countries had no choice in the matter — although it’s worth noting that all the suffering being imposed on their populations doesn’t seem to have done anything to improve investor confidence in their governments.
But, in America, we do have a choice. The markets aren’t demanding that we give up on job creation. On the contrary, they seem worried about the lack of action — about the fact that, as Bill Gross of the giant bond fund Pimco put it earlier this week, we’re “approaching a cul-de-sac of stimulus,” which he warns “will slow to a snail’s pace, incapable of providing sufficient job growth going forward.”
It seems almost superfluous, given all that, to mention the final insult: many of the most vocal austerians are, of course, hypocrites. Notice, in particular, how suddenly Republicans lost interest in the budget deficit when they were challenged about the cost of retaining tax cuts for the wealthy. But that won’t stop them from continuing to pose as deficit hawks whenever anyone proposes doing something to help the unemployed.
So here’s the question I find myself asking: What will it take to break the hold of this cruel cult on the minds of the policy elite? When, if ever, will we get back to the job of rebuilding the economy?

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