Krugman o “grehu in kazni” kot napačni percepciji

Še drug pogled na moralistični pogled iskanja prave rešitve za izhod iz krize. Kot pravi Krugman, je moralistični pogled na iskanje rešitve izhoda iz krize napačen iz dveh vidikov. Prvič, ker sedanja depresija in nizka zaposlenost nista posledica tega, ker smo nekoč preveč trošili, ampak ker sedaj premalo trošimo. In drugič, grešniki, ki so nas pripeljali v krizo, niso iste osebe, ki sedaj trpijo zaradi varčevanja. Ali drugače rečeno, pokoro za krizo plačujejo tisti, ki je niso povzročili.

Part of the answer surely lies in the widespread desire to see economics as a morality play, to make it a tale of excess and its consequences. We lived beyond our means, the story goes, and now we’re paying the inevitable price. Economists can explain ad nauseam that this is wrong, that the reason we have mass unemployment isn’t that we spent too much in the past but that we’re spending too little now, and that this problem can and should be solved. No matter; many people have a visceral sense that we sinned and must seek redemption through suffering — and neither economic argument nor the observation that the people now suffering aren’t at all the same people who sinned during the bubble years makes much of a dent.

But it’s not just a matter of emotion versus logic. You can’t understand the influence of austerity doctrine without talking about class and inequality.

Thus, the average American is somewhat worried about budget deficits, which is no surprise given the constant barrage of deficit scare stories in the news media, but the wealthy, by a large majority, regard deficits as the most important problem we face. And how should the budget deficit be brought down? The wealthy favor cutting federal spending on health care and Social Security — that is, “entitlements” — while the public at large actually wants to see spending on those programs rise.

You get the idea: The austerity agenda looks a lot like a simple expression of upper-class preferences, wrapped in a facade of academic rigor. What the top 1 percent wants becomes what economic science says we must do.

Does a continuing depression actually serve the interests of the wealthy? That’s doubtful, since a booming economy is generally good for almost everyone. What is true, however, is that the years since we turned to austerity have been dismal for workers but not at all bad for the wealthy, who have benefited from surging profits and stock prices even as long-term unemployment festers. The 1 percent may not actually want a weak economy, but they’re doing well enough to indulge their prejudices.

Vir: Paul Krugman, New York Times

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