Paralyzed Dems Ignore Slow-Burn Crises: Krugman

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2009 6:56 AM CDT
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses the first highway project to be funded solely by the new stimulus, near Fairfield, Calif.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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(Newser) – When the economic crisis turned terrifying last winter, Washington finally got its act together and passed a massive stimulus package. But now, writes New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the US faces a slower but more dangerous "jobless recovery" over the next few years and an "utterly terrifying" climate crisis decades out. Faced with these long-term dangers, the government is acting like the metaphorical "boiling frog"—unaware that it's slowly dying.

Double-digit unemployment in the medium term and disastrous temperature rises in the long term are no longer the opinions of "economic Cassandras," but the consensus of scholars and scientists. Yet even the most progressive American government in generations can't or won't respond to the slow-burn catastrophes that lie ahead. "Right now," says Krugman, "both the economic and the environmental frogs are sitting still while the water gets hotter."