Friday, March 18, 2011


Paul Krugman today:

More than three years after we entered the worst economic slump since the 1930s, a strange and disturbing thing has happened to our political discourse: Washington has lost interest in the unemployed.

... one-sixth of America's workers — all those who can't find any job or are stuck with part-time work when they want a full-time job -- have, in effect, been abandoned.

... you have to wonder what it will take to get politicians caring again about America’s forgotten millions.

I used to wonder why the business community didn't feel it had a vested interest in getting people back to work -- but then I started thinking about organized crime. What happens when drug mobs take over a neighborhood -- or large swaths of a country (e.g., Mexico)? Sure, the people in the occupied territory suffer. But does that reduce the dealers' profits? Hardly. All they need is a base from which to operate more or less with impunity, and lots of revenue coming in from somewhere -- it doesn't matter where. Then they don't seem to care whether they're killing the host neighborhood -- they still thrive.

As long as lawmakers continue to create opportunity for the corporate class to make big piles of money, corpocrats probably won't care if the economy ever recovers, at least as you and I would define recovery. And as long as we're not willing to go into the streets to demand that either the phony-liberal Democrats or teabagging Republicans we've elected make good on their promises to stick up for the little guy, then the status quo can hold.

In other words: Paul, this may be the new normal.

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