Little Davey Brooks recovered from his bad acid trip with The Big Shaggy, but continues down the psycho rabbit hole, screaming that it is time for deficit reduction, in the middle of the Great Recession. And of course, being the driver of the Reasonable Centrist Clown Car, Brooks continues on with his delusional crap of that is is imperative to reduce middle-class entitlement programs, you know, for the good of the middle class.
So, to back up his thesis, Bobo gets out his favorite three-legged orchard ladder and picks some cherries. His first stop is his NYTimes colleague, Edward L. Glaeser, who received his degree from the University of Chicago (i.e., Milton Friedman disciple; think Shock Doctrine) who finds only a slight correlation between deficit spending and job growth. Notably, Brooks does NOT consult his other NYTimes colleague, the Nobel Prize winning one, Paul Krugman. Most assuredly an oversight.
Brooks also cites an economist from Harvard, Alberto Alesina, who wrote a paper that basically says that politicians who go into deficit reduction mode do not always get voted out at the next election. The paper, while it does boost the consequences of deficit reductions is really focused on the politicians, not on the economy.
This leads Stuck in the Middle Brooks to saying that economists are divided on the issue, which is a place where he usually finds succor and comfort. But not today. Brooks could have talked to Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com, who testified during a congressional hearing that preserving jobless aid is more important than deficit reduction in the short term, but that would disrupt his own thesis, which is that we need to tighten our belts for the good of everyone.
Bobo notes that “high-skill sectors saw no net loss of jobs during the recession. Middle-skill sectors like sales saw an 8 percent employment decline. Blue-collar jobs fell by 16 percent.” Davey, can you define high-skills sectors?
In other words, the recession exacerbated the inequalities we’ve been seeing for decades.
Yes, Davey, for 30-long, hard years. No where in his obligatory 800 words belched out twice weekly does Brooks mention how we got in this jam, there is no mention of the 30 years of unabated piss-on or voodoo economics started by Saint Ronnie that set us hurling down this path towards the abyss.
As wonky Ezra Klein tells us, “There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.
This was the first business cycle where a working-age household ended up worse at the end of it than the beginning, and this in spite of substantial growth in productivity, which should have been able to improve everyone’s well-being.
– Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank.
So how did the CEO and donor class do during the recession, Bobo? Can you tell us?
Prune and Grow, by David Brooks