Economics Group

Disciplines: Economics
Curator(s): John McIntosh, stnefan andrzej, stefan, ziomal, andy
Started: Jul 10, 2012

thomas(tom) deaton
Started by: thomas(tom) deaton
The Fiscal Pothole

Since I can't find a discussion in the 'discussion group', in all humility, I thought I would try to start one.

It has been said that an economist's lag may be a politician's catastrophe.  Perhaps a reasonable paraphrase of that little piece of wisdom is that a politician's 'fiscal cliff' may be society's needed medicine.  It seems to me that those who claim to care the most about the unemployed actually care the least.  It seems the caring ones can't bring themselves to do what is actually needed in the short to put us on a path that will 'ultimately' lead to full employment in the private sector where goods and services are actually made that are of real value.  In the words of Mrs. Paine's little boy Tommy, government is best viewed as a necessary evil and exists only to protect us from one another.

I doubt Mr. Paine had in mind protecting us from those that actually create worthwhile employment in preference for jobs in the public sector rearranging the deck chairs or shuffling the pea from thimble to thimble.  Unfortunately, that same public sector is the creator of our current lack of economic enthusiasm and vitality in the private sector.  To restore that vitality a period of higher unemployment will be necessary in the near term, but no one to talk about it.

I thought perhaps in this forum we could talk about it.  Any thoughts from anyone else?

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