Those trying to escape the saga of Anthony Weiner and the Weiner-ettes may not have seen Paul Krugman’s Friday column, which focuses on the relentlessly high unemployment rate and on the fact that the most powerful people in government — starting with Barack Obama, of course — are doing nothing to end this ongoing disaster.
Instead, the Republicrats want to slash spending further and thus destroy even more jobs in order to stay on the good side of the people who fund their campaigns. Krugman uses a vaguely Marxist and, Lord help us, French term to describe this group, which is opposed to deficit spending, debt relief and others actions that might help put the unemployed back to work:
Consciously or not, policy makers are catering almost exclusively to the interests of rentiers — those who derive lots of income from assets, who lent large sums of money in the past, often unwisely, but are now being protected from loss at everyone else’s expense. Of course, that’s not the way what I call the Pain Caucus makes its case. Instead, the argument against helping the unemployed is framed in terms of economic risks: Do anything to create jobs and interest rates will soar, runaway inflation will break out, and so on…
And 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…
Ask for a coherent theory behind the abandonment of the unemployed and you won’t get an answer. Instead, members of the Pain Caucus seem to be making it up as they go along, inventing ever-changing rationales for their never-changing policy prescriptions.
In stating the obvious, Krugman jabs at the pigs who benefit from policies that help keep the jobless out of work and ruffles the feathers of the buzzards who disapprove of language that might wake the unemployed and working poor to the fact that they’ve been written off by the Dems as well as the GOP.
Say what you will about Krugman, he is one of only two people I can think of at the NYT — Gretchen Morgenson is the other — who speak truth to power and aren’t shy about reminding readers that the moneylenders and corporatists who own both major parties have no interest in closing the ever-widening gulf between the rich and poor, or in stamping out the malignant strain of capitalism that has stunted the country’s economic growth.