FDR told us that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself. But when future historians look back at our monstrously failed response to economic depression, they probably won’t blame fear, per se. Instead, they’ll castigate our leaders for fearing the wrong things.
So, about that fiscal crisis – the one that would, any day now, turn us into Greece. Greece, I tell you: Never mind.
For three years and more, policy debate in Washington, D.C., has been dominated by warnings about the dangers of budget deficits. A few lonely economists have tried from the beginning to point out that this fixation is all wrong, that deficit spending is actually appropriate in a depressed economy.
Four years ago, as a newly elected president began his efforts to rescue the economy and strengthen the social safety net, conservative economic pundits – people who claimed to understand markets and know how to satisfy them – warned of imminent financial disaster. Stocks, they declared, would plunge, while interest rates would soar.
SAN DIEGO – It’s that time again: the annual meeting of the American Economic Association and affiliates, a sort of medieval fair that serves as a marketplace for bodies (newly minted Ph.D.s in search of jobs), books and ideas. And this year, as in past meetings, there is one theme dominating discussion: the ongoing economic crisis.
Back in the 1950s three social psychologists joined a cult that was predicting the imminent end of the world. Their purpose was to observe the cultists’ response when the world did not, in fact, end on schedule.
In the wake of a devastating financial crisis, President Barack Obama has enacted some modest and obviously needed regulation; he has proposed closing a few outrageous tax loopholes; and he has suggested that Mitt Romney’s history of buying and selling companies, often firing workers and gutting their pensions along the way, doesn’t make him the right man to run America’s economy.
News Tribune Editorial Writers
Special to The News Tribune
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- Richard S. Davis
- Bill Hall
- Karen Irwin · blog
- Maggie McGuire · blog
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Community Columnists · 2013
Community Columnists · 2012
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