Fiscal Fever Breaks


Paul Krugman’s latest column in The New York Times is Fiscal Fever Breaks.

… in fact, we’d probably be close to full employment now but for the unprecedented fiscal austerity of the past three years.
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Still, does any of this matter? You could argue that it doesn’t — that fiscal scolds may have lost control of the conversation, but that we’re still doing terrible things like cutting off benefits to the long-term unemployed. But while policy remains terrible, we’re finally starting to talk about real issues like inequality, not a fake fiscal crisis. And that has to be a move in the right direction.

If we truly are shifting the terms of the debate, now is the time to keep up the pressure.  Let us not rest on our laurels.  We need to start implementing the next stage while we think several stages ahead.

If he hadn’t been so specific, I might have added the following to my list of favorite quotes:

As the old saying goes, they used Reinhart-Rogoff the way a drunk uses a lamppost — for support, not illumination.

According to my extensive research on Google, the “original quote” is:

Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.

or

He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts — for support rather than illumination.

The first version is attributed to Vin Scully by brainyquote.com.  The second version is connected to Andrew Lang (March 31 1844 – July 20 1912), but wikiquote.com really claims the original author has not been identified

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