The scientific and ethical bankruptcy of “austeritarianism”

Continuing his critique of the defenders of contractionary policy in the current global conjuncture, Krugman dealt more serious blows in his op-ed yesterday.

The whole thing is worth reading, but there are two key points that Krugman makes that are the essencial interpretive keys of the whole pro-austeriry discourse:

First, the drive to see economy as a “moral play”, much along the fable of the cicada and the ant; the frivolous rabble spent irresponsibly and should be taught the real value of  things – as if the people who end up really taking the brunt of the “adjustment policies” had any responsibility in the decisions that led to the debacle, and as if they weren’t already sacrificed enough;

Second, and perhaps foremost, the policies presented as “rational”, or “the only real solution” are those that reflect interests and values  of the  ruling class. Krugman doesn’t use the expresion, but I will: this is class struggle, pure and simple. Aided and abbetted by a press corps that is a fundamental vehicle for disseminating this  worldview, those in power force policies that are contrary to the wealth of the nations, the  well-being of the people, just to keep their rentier income untouched.  


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