Democrats Still “Myth-Busting,” Proudly Boasting About Spending Cuts

By: Tuesday May 22, 2012 3:33 pm

Today the official Twitter account of the Democratic Party proudly retweeted, and Democratic operatives proudly passed around a Marketwatch story that finds that federal spending in the Obama era has experienced the smallest growth in real dollars in 60 years. The Dems still don’t seem to get that this means they’ve doomed the economy to slower growth and left millions unemployed.


FDL Book Salon Welcomes Paul Krugman, End This Depression Now!

By: Saturday May 19, 2012 1:59 pm

It is an honor and a pleasure to have Paul Krugman at the Lake this afternoon for a conversation on End This Depression Now! Dedicated “To the unemployed, who deserve better,” the book is a condemnation of the policies and mind-set that have produced the worst economic depression since the 1930s. And unlike the Great Depression, which contemporaries did not understand, we know what to do; the current depression is entirely self-inflicted. The broken homes and ruined lives are not attributable to acts of God or the inscrutable logic of the market, but are the direct consequence of public decisions that have amplified the inherent risk of private credit by deregulating financial operations and the attempt to balance the budget when aggregate private demand is collapsing. The central message is that none of this suffering is necessary, and none of it is justified.

The Fruits of Austerity: More European Nations Slip Into Recession

By: Wednesday March 28, 2012 5:05 pm

In addition to the economic truth that tax cuts and growth do not have much of a relationship, what we’ve learned over the past few years is that austerity during a depression is a bonkers idea. And here’s some more evidence of that today. Britain’s latest numbers show a bigger drop of GDP than expected.

Blacklisted as ‘Troublemakers,’ U.K. Construction Workers Struggle for Justice

By: Sunday March 11, 2012 7:40 am

For years, they wondered why they kept getting turned down for jobs, even when they seemed well qualified. The workers might have all just chalked it up to bad luck if they hadn’t eventually discovered they were at the center of an extraordinary conspiracy.

An investigation by the U.K. government’s Information Commissioners Office (ICO) in 2009 revealed that some of the country’s most prominent construction firms had worked with a secretive company, The Consulting Association, to create a blacklist of workers with a history of being suspected “troublemakers” or labor advocates.

Britain Faring Worse in Great Recession Than They Did During Great Depression

By: Thursday January 26, 2012 11:08 am

The conservative theories about starving public spending as a way to jump-start private investment have been proven completely wrong by this test case. Austerity during a fragile recovery is destroying Britain. As Brad DeLong writes, if there’s any country where this myth of expansionary austerity should have worked, it was Britain. But it’s not working at all.

Europe Has a Growth Problem

By: Wednesday January 25, 2012 7:15 pm

After all their self-defeating austerity efforts, a few European economic policy makers are noticing that they’re having a problem with growth. The UK and other economies are falling back into recession; Greece is in a depression. But they still haven’t acknowledged they’ve got the solutions backwards.

Brazil Passes the UK As Sixth Largest Economy

By: Tuesday December 27, 2011 7:01 am

“I thought British policy was to make the world England.” So said the fictional Major Duncan Hayward in the Hollywood version of Last of the Mohicans.  Major Hayward was appalled when his superior officer granted concessions to the independent colonials as a condition for getting the nascent Americans to help the British Army fight the [...]

Europe Braces for Recession, Bank Insolvency, as “Solution” Fails to Solve

By: Monday December 12, 2011 6:15 am

The Eurozone deal laid bare the fact that national sovereignty in Europe is a thing of the past.

But if that was that price paid for a stronger Europe, a safe currency union and a stronger economy, maybe we could have a reasonable argument about the costs and benefits. But the countries on the periphery, like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, who gave up the ability for their governments to make decisions in the interests of the people they represent, in favor of unelected bureaucrats led by the nose of the markets, don’t even get the exchange of greater economic opportunity.

Eurozone Releases Formal Agreement

By: Friday December 9, 2011 5:05 pm

The 17 countries of the Eurozone formally backed a new deal for fiscal management, one designed to “save the euro” but which can only help if a host of other measures fall into place, including any plan to actually boost growth on the southern periphery.

Britain Vetoes EU Treaty on Fiscal Consolidation

By: Friday December 9, 2011 10:45 am

Earlier in the week, I wrote about how David Cameron wanted to use his leverage as a non-Eurozone member of the EU to wring concessions as a condition of signing treaty changes. At the EU summit, he presented his aims: basically, softening a financial transaction tax that the other countries in Europe want, and other policies that protect British banks. Because you need all 27 members of the EU on board with the preferred fiscal policies that really only affect the 17 countries in the Eurozone, Cameron thought he had the power to hold out. So Cameron vetoed the revisions to the Treaty of Lisbon. And then the Eurozone leadership, essentially France and Germany, went around Britain and negotiated a bunch of Eurozone side deals.

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