Once during a Freshman English 110 presentation about the economy, I tore into a group (because I’m that guy) claiming that the government had created the banking crisis through subprime lending, something that was almost entirely a private banking enterprise. Anecdote aside, Paul Krugman does something similar in his book End This Depression NOW!, going line by line through the falsehoods of the economic crisis, the one I just described particularly as “The Big Lie” that people like Michael Bloomberg have toted as well.
After 5 or so years of watching this nation painfully deal with the effects of an economic crisis and persistently high unemployment, a book that delivers the case for monetary expansion and stimulus as opposed to the fiscal austerity that has been prescribed by members of both parties is refreshing. Rather than being cluttered with economic jargon or the complex math of economics, Krugman makes his case simply and clearly with basic economic data and past economic experiences within the past century like the Great Depression.
Debunking myths and equally handing out blame for our slump and delayed recovery, Krugman’s most important emphasis is how contradictory fiscal austerity is in a time of weak demand, something he calls a “Minsky Moment”, which only extends the disaster spiral. The problem of our debt is nothing compared to our employment crisis, which will reap far more long term consequences than our debt in the near future.
A short read easily finished in a few days time and providing some of the strongest case evidence for temporary stimulus and inflation, End This Depression NOW! is an urging for action to patch our economy before even more damage is done by our timidity.
A true scholar and influential mind in the field of economics, Krugman’s book should be mandatory reading for left leaning thinkers looking to sharpen their economic knowledge, as well as required for Econ 101 courses for its simplification of difficult economic topics regardless of its plea.
“We are all Keynesians now.”-Milton Friedman