US Keeps Repeating Same Mistake on Economy

Paul Krugman: We have to worry about jobs, not the deficit
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2011 12:55 PM CDT
Job-seekers wait in line for a job fair to open in Independence, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(Newser) – The US made a terrible mistake last year by not spending enough money on the economic recovery, and it's on track to repeat the error on a larger scale this year, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. Deficit hawks were allowed to overrule those concerned about job creation, and the results can be seen in today's sputtering recovery and lousy unemployment numbers. Now is not the time to be obsessed with "fiscal austerity," he warns. It's the same mistake policy-makers made in 1937 that prolonged the Great Depression.

Look at the current DC negotiations, for example: "Republicans are demanding immediate spending cuts as the price of raising the debt limit and avoiding a US default. If this blackmail succeeds, it will put a further drag on an already weak economy." It calls to mind the line about those not learning from history being condemned to repeat it, writes Krugman. "What we’re experiencing may not be a full replay of the Great Depression, but that’s little consolation for the millions of American families suffering from a slump that just goes on and on." (Read more recession stories.)

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