Paul Krugman: Gratifying Signs of Desperation


 

On both sides of the Atlantic, the austerians seem to be freaking out. And that has to be good news, an indication that they realize, at some level, that they’re losing the debate.

First up, the sad story of Joe Scarborough, whose response to my anti-austerian appearance on his show has been a bizarre campaign to convince the world that absolutely nobody of consequence shares my views. Why is this bizarre? Because while I could be wrong about macroeconomics (although I’m not), it’s just not true, provably not true, that I’m alone in arguing that the current and near-future deficit aren’t problems. (Among others, there’s this guy you may have heard of).

So in the latest twist, JoScar is citing my Princeton colleague Alan Blinder, who he claims is totally at odds with my position. Hmm. The article he’s citing (which is in the Atlantic, not the New Yorker)), bears the following headline:

Not so different from me.

Meanwhile, Olli Rehn of the European Commission, a firm advocate of austerity, responds to the disastrous economic news in Europe, which has confirmed the warnings of austerity critics and led to a widespread reassessment of fiscal multipliers; it seems that they are large in a liquidity trap, just as some of us predicted. Rehn’s answer? We need to stop putting out these economic studies, because they’re undermining confidence in austerity!

As I said, these signs of desperation are gratifying. Unfortunately, these people have already done immense damage, and still retain the power to do a lot more.

Gratifying Signs of Desperation – NYTimes.com

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