Ordinary Americans are reeling under the high unemployment rate, and the economy is teetering as well. So why do politicians in both parties refuse to spend money to create jobs? Blame the "Pain Caucus," writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. This caucus consists of "rentiers," mainly bankers and rich investors "who lent large sums of money in the past, often unwisely, but are now being protected from loss at everyone else’s expense." Through their big campaign contributions and personal access to lawmakers, they dictate policy.
We can't help the unemployed, they argue, because that would drive up interest rates and send inflation soaring. It's all bunk, writes Krugman. "Against these hypothetical risks one must set the reality of an economy that remains deeply depressed, at great cost both to today’s workers and to our nation’s future. After all, how can we expect to prosper two decades from now when millions of young graduates are, in effect, being denied the chance to get started on their careers?" These "creditor-friendly policies are crippling the economy," and we've got to wake up before it's too late. (Read more economic recovery stories.)