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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nothing That a Little More Austerity Can't Cure

Posted by on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 6:40 AM

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Unemployment in the 17 countries that use the euro hit its highest level since the currency was introduced back in 1999, official figures showed Monday, adding to fears that the region is in recession.

Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, said unemployment in the eurozone rose to 10.8 percent in February from 10.7 percent the previous month. ... The figures stand in marked contrast to the U.S. — with an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent — which has recorded solid increases in the number of people finding work over the past few months.

No, 8.3 percent unemployment isn't good enough, and yes, this has been an extraordinarily slow and weak recovery. But it is a recovery, happening here and now, even as the oh-so-responsible austerity mavens in Europe continue to drive their economy further into the ditch.

For Republicans to blame Obama for a weak recovery, when the US is one of the few nations that fell into the Great Recession to have managed to claw its way back out, is laughable. But for them to continue fighting to impose the same austerity policies here, that are killing jobs in the UK and Europe, well, that's just fucking crazy.

 

Comments (51) RSS

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1
Republicans are crazy, got it. And sooooo true for first thing in the morning.
Posted by Chicago Fan on April 3, 2012 at 7:00 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 2
The GOP is crazy but their owners and masters also own the Democrats. But Obama had simply better hope the recession in Europe doesn't spread to the US. Still, in a highly integrated global economy that is wishful thinking at this point.

Recession by quarter three or quarter four this year in the US is my prediction.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on April 3, 2012 at 7:05 AM · Report this
The Max 3
It's my fondest hope in the world to see the O totally annihilate the GOP candidate in debate. He's built a record to run on and I want to see him just steamroller over Greed Over People settles on.
Posted by The Max on April 3, 2012 at 7:07 AM · Report this
4
But wait, wasn't Goldensteinenberg arguing that without a Krugmanesque stimulus of Rooseveltian proportions, the US would never pull out of the recession? Instead we got a small stimulus 3 years back, half of it tax cuts, and today we see the light at the end of the tunnel?

BTW, 10% unemployment is what Europeans call the 'past 30 years'.
Posted by Centrism works on April 3, 2012 at 7:14 AM · Report this
5
Austerity does not work for a government. The government functions differently than a family budget.

The government runs on taxes.
Taxes are gathered when money changes hands.
So for a government to collect more taxes it should focus on ways to get people to buy goods and services from other people in that economy.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 3, 2012 at 7:19 AM · Report this
6
Austerity worked for Canada in 1994. But the world economy was growing at the time, as mentioned toward the end of this article, which may have made the situation more different than similar to today's European debt crises. Economies are complex systems and very smart people can disagree on causes and effects and best courses of action. There are a lot of unknown unknowns.

http://business.financialpost.com/2011/1…
Posted by David from Chicago on April 3, 2012 at 7:32 AM · Report this
7
Austerity is working fine in Washington State. Unemployment is dropping, growth is back. Time to Occupy A Job morons!
Posted by Governor McKenna on April 3, 2012 at 7:43 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 8
Austerity is a result of the myth of trickle-down economics. Unfortunately, trickle-down economics is to conservatives as the resurrection is to christians: you have to believe it if you want to be part of the club. You HAVE to believe it, facts and history be damned.

So like all groups marching blindly under dogma, the conservatives are forced to put into place these policies because they have to believe in trickle-down economics.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on April 3, 2012 at 7:53 AM · Report this
Vince 9
Every Republican administration has left this nation far worse off. George W. devastated this country.
Posted by Vince on April 3, 2012 at 7:58 AM · Report this
10
@8
And with the same results. You just have to BELIEVE that once everything goes to crap that it will, some how, decrapify itself.

Trickle-down economics has the supply-and-demand concept backwards.

Instead, we should be raising taxes on capital gains and the upper income ranges and trying to get the lower income segments to churn their money in local goods and services.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 3, 2012 at 7:59 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 11
The very act of the GOP blaming Obama for a slow recovery has the effect of slowing the recovery. The S&P credit downgrade pretty much spelled it out: with no clear government direction or movement, growth will be challenged.
There is a lot of capital waiting to be invested in this country, but the political situation paralyzes investors. Between the Wall Street reforms and Obamacare, no one knows what health care & investment banking will look like in 5 years. Maybe the GOP guts all of Obama's reform, maybe he stays and solidifies the changes. Add the Energy market to that list, and that's a huge portion of the economy with no clear direction. It's very hard to claw back from a major recession that way.
Posted by Sir Vic on April 3, 2012 at 8:13 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 12

For many Europeans, "unemployment" means a permanent vacation collecting 90% of wages. And when things get rough, they can send back all the "guest workers" and sweep their own streets.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on April 3, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
Remember, two things come out of Chicago.

Great Republican Presidents, like President Obama.

And stupid economic ideas that have never - ever - worked in the real world.

Oh, and deep dish pizza.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on April 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
14
Austerity works just fine for a society which is managed by corporations and therefore starves people to raise corporate profits.
Posted by sarah70 on April 3, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
15
Goldy clearly doesn't know what the word austerity means if he thinks that's what's going on in (non-Greece) Europe
Posted by Reader01 on April 3, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
venomlash 16
@13: Don't make ME come out of Chicago too and slap you silly.
Posted by venomlash on April 3, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
17
@13 "Since 1969, when the Nobel Prize in economic sciences was first awarded, twenty-two recipients of that prize have been faculty, students, or researchers in the Department of Economics, Law School, or Graduate School of Business (GSB) at the University of Chicago, including Milton Friedman and George Stigler. Five Nobel laureates are currently members of the department: Gary S. Becker, Robert W. Fogel, Robert E. Lucas, Jr., and James J. Heckman and Roger Myerson."

http://economics.uchicago.edu/about/hist…
Posted by David from Chicago on April 3, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
18
@13 Honestly, you sound just like a fundamentalist Christian claiming that biologists know nothing about evolution. You should go listen to economists or read their ideas more often. They are incredibly smart and they criticize Republicans quite a bit as well. Those guys are scientists, and they back up with ideas with data. And they are open to change. Yes, many of them do identify more with republicans because republicans tend to embrace market ideas more often than do democrats. But to say that their ideas don't work in the real world is silly.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 3, 2012 at 1:51 PM · Report this
19
@18
Really? You mean like Greenspan? Maybe you should read what he said/wrote after he left the Fed. Focus on "assuming what the nature of risks would be."

You claim:
"Those guys are scientists, and they back up with ideas with data."

That just shows that YOU do not understand what science is.

"But to say that their ideas don't work in the real world is silly."

Again, read up on Greenspan and Ayn Rand. Their "ideas" seem to keep failing.
But they always have a ready excuse for that. It is because their "ideas" were not correctly implemented.

Meanwhile, a real scientist does NOT have to wait until AFTER to tell you what the results will be based upon what you are doing.

"Yes, many of them do identify more with republicans because republicans tend to embrace market ideas more often than do democrats."

No. It is because when you are completely wrong about economics the tendency will still be for the rich to keep the wealth. And the Republicans seem to favor the rich.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 3, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
20
@17: The "Nobel Prize in Economics" was established in celebration of the 300th anniversary of Sweden's central bank, and has essentially nothing whatsoever to do with the prizes awarded by the Nobel Foundation in the actual sciences.

The Nobel Prize in Economics is more like the Oscars: one set of blowhard dogmatists congratulating another set of blowhard dogmatists whose vision perfectly aligns with theirs.
Posted by d.p. on April 3, 2012 at 10:51 PM · Report this
21
@19 and @20: Are you really dismissing an entire field of study? You guys should consider learning something real about economics. Go into with an open mind. Take a course at a local college. Or listen to NPR's Planet Money podcasts. Are there disagreements among economists? Yes, just as there are disagreements among biologists on exactly how life evolved. Does the fact that there are disagreements mean that make evolution is something that didn't happen. Nope. And in the same way economics is a field that contains matters that are considered settled, and also matters that are in dispute. Learn about these things and then you can target your efforts for social justice from a much better position.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 4, 2012 at 4:50 AM · Report this
22
@21
"Are you really dismissing an entire field of study?"

Nope. Just pointing out that it is not a science as physics or chemistry is.
Any time the results don't match the expectations the excuse is because some other factor(s) interfered.

"You guys should consider learning something real about economics. Go into with an open mind. Take a course at a local college."

Already have. Which is why I seem to be able to illustrate the flaws in your claims that it is a "science".

"Are there disagreements among economists? Yes, just as there are disagreements among biologists on exactly how life evolved."

Nice of you to out yourself in that way. There are no disagreements among biologists on evolution. It's an established fact.

"Does the fact that there are disagreements mean that make evolution is something that didn't happen. Nope."

Again, there are not any disagreements amongst biologists about evolution.

"And in the same way economics is a field that contains matters that are considered settled, and also matters that are in dispute."

Okay, I'm calling you on that. Name FIVE items that biologists disagree about. Be specific. Include the names of the "biologists" who disagree. Go ahead. Do it.

I'm going to say that you'll be pulling crap out of some Creationist or Intelligent Design handbook.

But go ahead. Show that you know what you're talking about.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 4, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
23
@fairly.unbalanced I tried. We're done. Peace.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 4, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
24
@23
So you can't even come up with FIVE items that biologists disagree about?
Yet you claim that such disagreements exist.
No, you couldn't, could you?
Because you have no idea what you're talking about.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 4, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this
25
@24 off the top of my head, 1 whether evolution is gradual or occurs in fits and starts, 2 the role of RNA, 3 whether there is one common ancestor for all life (instead of, maybe, a few), 4 how did maleness and femaleness evolve, 5 whether the first life on earth may have been chemosynthetic. Now please go fuck yourself.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 4, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
26
@25
1. Evolution is the process of minor mutations at the DNA level. So I'm not sure what you're talking about with "fits and starts". Who is claiming "fits and starts"?

2. RNA? There have been multiple Nobel Prizes awarded for research on RNA. What is the question and WHO is debating it?

3. A common ancestor a all life? Now you've left evolution and you've wandered into abiogenesis. Sorry, but evolution does not address abiogenesis. Which biologists claims that it does?

4. How did males and females split from ... one sex? Or hermaphrodites? Something else? No one knows yet. Sexual reproduction seems have been present in the trilobites (over 500 million years ago). So I'm not sure what "disagreements" you claim exist (nor have you stated WHO is disagreeing with WHOM).

5. Chemosynthetic? Again, you're really talking about abiogenesis. Did the earliest life forms eat carbon-based molecules or did they suck sun light? Or some other way of getting energy from their environment? Who is arguing this?

You have no idea what biologists debate about evolution because you keep confusing evolution with abiogenesis.
Like I said, you'll be pulling crap out of some Creationist or Intelligent Design handbook.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 4, 2012 at 11:15 AM · Report this
27
All that time googling while you could have been fucking yourself. Go. Fuck. Yourself.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this
28
@27
"All that time googling while you could have been fucking yourself."

That's very funny because I predicted what you'd post before you posted it.
So if I'm spending time on Google then I must also have a time machine.

You cannot even name the biologists who you claim have disagreements about things that evolution does not even cover.

But anyone who knows more than you do about a subject MUST be using Google. And a time machine.

A biologist can tell you what RNA does and how it does it.
An economist can tell you that some other factors were involved when they fail.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 4, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
29
@28 You've got all that biology knowledge and you still don't know how to fuck yourself. Pity.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 4, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
30
@29
That's the problem with the Creationist movement.
They try to couch their arguments in scientific sounding terms but they don't understand the science.
So people who do not understand the basics of science believe their claims and confuse things like evolution with abiogenesis.

And those people then claim that there is some "disagreement" amongst biologists about it.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 4, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
31
@21 wrote: And in the same way economics is a field that contains matters that are considered settled, and also matters that are in dispute.

Nail on the head. Your beloved Chicago School considers most of the Neo-Classical model "settled," even though every point in history at which governments have been convinced to move toward a "purer" version of the model has resulted in total economic collapse.

When reality repeatedly calls bullshit on your model, and you nevertheless cling to that model, that's dogma, not science.
Posted by d.p. on April 4, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
32
@31 okay. Give me one such point in history
Posted by David from Chicago on April 4, 2012 at 6:44 PM · Report this
33
1920s, 1980s, 2000s, you hack. Eras of extreme deregulation resulting in spectacular crashes.

Rational as a cult member, you are.
Posted by d.p. on April 4, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this
34
@32
You want an example?
I've already given you one. Greenspan.
When reality did not match his expectations he blamed other factors.

See for yourself. Search for "assuming what the nature of risks would be."

Physics is a science.
Biology is a science.
Economics is not.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 4, 2012 at 7:52 PM · Report this
35
As @34 says, Grand Wizard of Neo-Classical Theory Alan Greenspan was so incapable of predicting or stemming the 2008 crisis that he will spend his retirement in disgrace. As he should.

But it's pointless to argue with you. You relinquished your credibility when you tried to use the Nobel Prize in Economics to demonstrate the scientific bona fides of your Chicago heroes. Nothing to do with the real Nobels. It's like citing the Vatican Awards to "prove" that Catholicism is the one true faith.
Posted by d.p. on April 4, 2012 at 8:14 PM · Report this
36
@d.p. The instances you've picked, markets crashes, have to do with macroeconomics, a field of economics that tries to understand a very complex system. Think about macroeconomists like meteorologists. I think we all agree that meteorologists are scientists, and they predict the weather. Are they always right? No. Just like macroeconomists, meteorologists use models to try to predict the future, although they also try to use levers (eg: money supply via interest rates) to effect the future. Macroecon happens to be my least favorite part of economics, probably because I share your frustration that there are no right answers, just predictions. And even after events occur, economists can legitimately differ on the causes and effects. Economists will never claim that they can prevent future crashes or bubbles. They do try to use the tools available to them to smooth out the business cycle, and there is interesting and copious disagreement on the best ways to do that. I share your concern about deregulation, and I would like to see much more regulation in the banking sector especially. But quite frankly I'm not all that interested in macroeconomics, nor am I very knowledgeable about it. I'm more of a micro guy.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 5, 2012 at 7:55 AM · Report this
37
@36
"The instances you've picked, markets crashes, have to do with macroeconomics, a field of economics that tries to understand a very complex system."

And, again, when the claimed results don't match reality, blame reality.
Economics is not a science.

"Think about macroeconomists like meteorologists."

I thought you said economists were like biologists.
Again, when reality does not match the claimed results ... blame reality.

"And even after events occur, economists can legitimately differ on the causes and effects."

Again, that is why economics is NOT a science.

But keep claiming otherwise. And denying that the failures of economics are failures.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 5, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
38
@37 Please go away.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 5, 2012 at 10:30 AM · Report this
39
@38
When evidence that contradicts your claims is presented, you claim that some other factors were involved.

"Give me one such point in history"
Such is provided.
"The instances you've picked, markets crashes, have to do with macroeconomics, ..."
Again with the denial.
"And even after events occur, economists can legitimately differ on the causes and effects."
And again with the complete failure to understand science. Scientists do NOT "legitimately differ on the causes and effects" when their hypothesis has been REFUTED by reality.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM · Report this
40
@38 You remind me of a girl I used to know. She was nice and fun, but anytime you started talking about something with more than one side, she would flatly deny that there was any gray area in the world. Or if you sort of challenged her on anything, she would tenaciously hold onto and argue her point even though she had no data and really nothing to say. And she would keep saying things like, "So there! I'm right, you're wrong." She seemed to like conflict, which is good because understanding emerges from conflict, but she was unable to ever really have a conversation with give and take. I really mean it when I say best of luck to you. Now let's please stop this conversation.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
41
whoops. I meant 39, obviously.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 5, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this
42
@40
"Or if you sort of challenged her on anything, she would tenaciously hold onto and argue her point even though she had no data and really nothing to say."

You mean like claiming that economics is a science? Despite the evidence presented that contradicts that claim?

You mean like making claims about evolution being the same as abiogenesis?

"I really mean it when I say best of luck to you."
"You've got all that biology knowledge and you still don't know how to fuck yourself."
"All that time googling while you could have been fucking yourself."

So the evidence contradicts your claims and you want me to go away so your claims are not sullied by contradictory evidence?

"Go. Fuck. Yourself."
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
43
@fairly.unbalanced Maybe you ARE the girl I used to know. Did you ever live in Chicago?
Posted by David from Chicago on April 5, 2012 at 11:33 AM · Report this
44
@43
"Go. Fuck. Yourself."

"Now let's please stop this conversation."

"Did you ever live in Chicago?"

Thanks but I'll stick to my original points. Economics is not a science. When the "theories" of economists fail to work in the real world they always blame some other factor.

Like microeconomics not being macroeconomics.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
45
@44 Yeah. That's exactly the kind of stuff she would do. Maybe you are her. Freaky.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 5, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
46
@45
That's exactly the kind of stuff she would do. Maybe you are her. Freaky.


So since you cannot address the points that have been brought up you're going to try to claim that I am some third person who you know from some place else.

Address the issues. Economics is not a science. It does not matter if it is microeconomics or macroeconomics.
Economics is not a science.
Microeconomics is not a science.
Macroeconomics is not a science.
Evolution is not abiogenesis.

"Go. Fuck. Yourself."
"Now let's please stop this conversation."
"Did you ever live in Chicago?"
"Maybe you are her."
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 5, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
47
Oh, crap. Look what we've done. Now we're in the most commented list.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 5, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
48
@47
Is this a surprise to you?
You posted a lot of comments. Many of them about some unidentified person you claimed to know in the past.

And you do not see the connection between the number of comments and the thread being listed as one of the "most commented"?

Part of science is based upon the concept of searching for cause and effect.
Economics is not a science because the when the stated effect does not occur then other causes are blamed for the discrepancy.

How is this a surprise?
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 5, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
49
I'm bracing for when someone tells us to get a room.
Posted by David from Chicago on April 5, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
50
@49
I prefer to look at it as an example of someone who's understanding of "science" comes from Creationist and Intelligent Design literature.

Evolution is not the same as abiogenesis.
Nor is there any "disagreement" amongst biologists about evolution.
Despite your claims to the contrary.

As you had previously posted:
"@24 off the top of my head, 1 whether evolution is gradual or occurs in fits and starts, 2 the role of RNA, 3 whether there is one common ancestor for all life (instead of, maybe, a few), 4 how did maleness and femaleness evolve, 5 whether the first life on earth may have been chemosynthetic. Now please go fuck yourself."
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 5, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 51
I hate it when mommy and daddy fight.
Posted by aureolaborealis on April 5, 2012 at 3:33 PM · Report this

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