Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, February 2, 2012 9:25 pm

“Those who don’t understand history are doomed to condemn those who do.”*

Filed under: We're so screwed — Lex @ 9:25 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Those wild-eyed liberals at The Economist apparently have figured out that the sky is blue:

Now maybe you people will listen to me.

D.B. Echo, Another Monkey

So, here’s the thing. The debate we had about the stimulus probably should have been a lot like the book Mr [Mike] Grabell has written: a detailed investigation of what does and doesn’t work in stimulus spending and whether the government really can jump-start a promising industry through investments, tax breaks and industrial policy. But that wasn’t the debate we had. Instead we had a debate about the very concept of whether the government ought to spend money counter-cyclically during a recession in order to keep the economy from collapsing, or whether it should tighten its belt along with consumers and businesses in order to generate confidence in the financial markets and allow markets to clear. We had a debate about whether governments should respond to recessions with deficit spending or austerity.

That was the debate we had. And what’s interesting about this particular moment is that while Mr Grabell is writing about what did and didn’t work in the stimulus, and Mr Obama is staying away from the topic for political reasons, out there on the barricades what’s happening is that the entire argument that governments should engage in austerity appears to be collapsing.

How about that.

There are times when austerity absolutely is the correct approach. This is absolutely not one of them. But our “leaders” continue to insist that the sky is pink with purple polka-dots.

*Quote and link from Digby.

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“He captured it in a way that made amnesia no longer an option.”

On the 50th anniversary of the National Book Award for William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, the folks at the Smithsonian remind us not only why the book was so valuable then but also why it is so valuable today.

A lot of people on both sides of the aisle are still trying to argue that amnesia about our own sins is an option. Right now they’re winning, but I’m pretty confident of history’s verdict.

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