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Will in Seattle 1
My pitchfork, torches, and guillotine franchises are doing great all over Europe.

Next up, expanding into the UK and US as our cities burn.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 2
"Robert Reich has got it right" He always has it right. He seems to be the only national figure that really understands the economy. I highly recommend his book Aftershock.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on November 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 3
What if the problem was simply that they just were not austere enough?
Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM · Report this
Goldy 4
@3 Well, that is the premise they seem to be exploring in Greece.
Posted by Goldy on November 15, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 5
@3,4: How medieval. "Hm, we've bled the patient but he still doesn't seem to be well. More leeches!"
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on November 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
Remember, all the "bailout money" "going to" Greece is actually never leaving the German banks that gave the VERY BAD AND FISCALLY UNSOUND loans to the right-wing Greek government that lied with the help of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs in the first place.

None of it goes to Greece.

Not a penny.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 15, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
theophrastus 7
If Obama unaccountably (and ignoring appeals from the majority of economists) appoints Erskine Bowles to Treasury (former held by Geithner) look for this same utterly wrong-headed approach to recovering an economy in the states.

I understand that Obama's inner circle hates Krugman (but don't know why), but you can hate someone and still follow their sane policies, without giving them credit.
Posted by theophrastus on November 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM · Report this
I don't think Romney was proposing European style austerity. In Europe, it's tax hikes and spending cuts. Romney wanted to cut both taxes and spending. I'm not an economist, so I won't comment on whether one is better than the other (and if I were an economist, I'd say "economics is total bullshit social 'science' and no one should listen to me").
Posted by MRM on November 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM · Report this

The problem for them is the Euro...a fantasy currency that serves no member.

Dollarize. With greenbacks!
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on November 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
jnmend 10
Super depressing, especially since the last 100 years of Economics have taught us, pretty simply, that a government should spend less and tax more in a good economy and spend more and tax less in a bad one. Sigh.
Posted by jnmend on November 15, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
treacle 11
The only difference between meteorology and economics ... is that meteorology has improved it's predictive forecast ability over the past few decades.

9, ?! Yes, dear, and "greenbacks" aren't a fantasy currency at all, now are they? In fact, ALL money isn't simply a mutually accepted consensually agreed-upon exchange tool... I mean really, it's all just fancy paper... oops!... it's all just a bunch of numbers in a "bank account" anyway. Doesn't even exist in realspace any more these days!

"Fantasy currency"... ha! you are a scream.
Posted by treacle on November 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this
treacle 12
"Austerity measures" are in effect the way that high-leverage investors (banks, currency traders, etc.) mine an economy like a natural resource. Extracting value, while leaving a smoking pit behind (riots, starvation, violence, etc.)

They well know, they've been doing it for decades now. The evidence is well-reported.
Posted by treacle on November 15, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
NaFun 13
I seriously doubt we'll hit either of those targets in the next 5 years.
Posted by NaFun on November 15, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 14
Psst... Hey, Goldy!

What do you think Obama has in store for us?

Robert Kuttner has written much of the column I intended to write on this subject, so I will point you to his excellent column and add a few thoughts.

Kuttner wrote to warn that Obama intends to seek a “grand bargain” causing the U.S. to adopt the type of austerity program that threw the Eurozone back into a gratuitous recession.

Worse, Obama intends to begin to unravel the safety net (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) to convince the Republicans to enter into this Faustian bargain. Just as only a conservative Republican could visit “Red” China, only a Democrat can begin the destruction of the safety net. The difference, of course, is that normalizing relations with China was a good thing while unraveling the safety net is a terrible thing.

Wall Street’s greatest desire is privatizing Social Security. Wall Street stands to make scores of billions of dollars annually in additional fees should it ever buy enough politicians to privatize Social Security. The Republican Party’s greatest goal is unraveling the safety net. They always wish to attack the most successful and popular programs introduced by the Democratic Party. Their problem is that they know it is toxic for Republican candidates to try to destroy the safety net. Only Democrats, through a “Great Betrayal” can give Republicans the political cover they need to unravel the safety net.

Obama is telling the media that the Great Betrayal is his first, and overarching, priority should he be re-elected. We are forewarned and we must act now to make clear that we will block the Great Betrayal and crush at the polls any member of Congress who supports it.

Do not concede the phrase “grand bargain” to the proponents of the betrayal. We should heed Camus’ warning that it is essential to call a plague by its real name if one is to resist it – and it is essential to resist the pestilence. “[W]hen you see the suffering and pain that it brings, you have to be mad, blind or a coward to resign yourself to the plague.” We must refuse to resign ourselves to being betrayed by Democratic leaders. Our actions must make it clear that we are not mad, blind, or cowards. We refuse to fall for their faux moral panics. It is our leaders who are all too often mad, blind, and cowards.

More here.

Oh... but we can't talk about that on SLOG. (Shhhhh!)

Posted by Ipso Facto on November 15, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this

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