In comes Paul Krugman of the New York Times. Almost single-handedly he has made the case for stimulus and investment, and disemboweled the idea that spending cuts will get us out of this long, slow glide to economic oblivion.
Once again, Karl Rove/GW Bush attempted to turn the clock back to the beginning of the 19th century, and we are now living with the consequences--wars and budget deficits without end. It's hard to see what form a new nationalism will take, until and unless a new Teddy Roosevelt comes along.
We can rehabilitate a Social Contract that connects us. With a restored self-image, we can reverse Citizens United, rebalance our political process, and find trade policies that serve society as a whole.
Since the 1970s, Republican economic policies have prevailed that diverted most of the fruits of prosperity to the wealthiest, so that the rest of U.S. have less to spend -- even though consumer spending drives 70 percent of economic activity.
What the Chicago conservatives in 1932 said the government should do was spend aggressively on useful public works and infrastructure. There were then and are now plenty of liberal ideas that deserve harsh criticism.
In his column "The Price Is Wrong," Prof. Krugman argues with the free market proponents on how to address our unemployment. I would take a second look at this option.
David Stockman's New York Times 'rant' glorifies the gold standard and denigrates government for standing in the way of putting "free markets and genuine wealth creation back into capitalism." In fact, Stockman would return us to an earlier era of crony capitalism.
Has the New York Times ever had Krugman spend two hours educating its financial reporters about austerity and the euro's design defects? That would be one of the best investments it could ever make in raising the quality of its reportage on these issues.
The Long Depression isn't hitting us all at once. It's taking pieces out of us over the course of years. That's allowed people to define previously unacceptable economic conditions as "The New Normal."
It is the GOP's extreme vision of what they think our country should be -- with a weak government and a free ride to corporations and the rich at the expense of the rest of us -- that has put them at odds with the electorate, which is made up of primarily hard-working and struggling Americans.
It is very harmful to the nation that MSNBC has led people to believe that there is only one, presumably hopelessly weird, economist in the world who opposes austerity as a response to the Great Recession.
The American people don't serve Paul Ryan. They're not "The Help." He's "The Help." And right now, by demanding austerity that Americans already rejected, Paul Ryan is back-talking the boss. It's insolent, insubordinate and disrespectful.
It is a vicious circle that those who still espouse 19th-century free market economics do not want to recognize. What applied to a rural America where 70 percent still lived on farms cannot apply today to an urbanized U.S.
Spending is not spending. The U.S. needs productive public investments, not wasteful spending. We need to modernize our infrastructure, retool our energy system, make our cities more resilient, and help to train a new productive labor force.
Overall, he does a fine job explaining things, which is what you would expect. He adopts a tone like the most sociable guy at a cocktail party (meaning, he's not Krugman, who's the argumentative one in the corner), trying to explain, but doing so in an easygoing way that won't scare anyone off.