Millions are protesting in Britain, and it’s no wonder — the government is making an already sick economy even sicker. Paul Krugman provides a good analogy:
… History says that a financial crisis reduces long-run growth potential if policymakers don’t limit the short-run damage it does.
And yet what’s happening in Britain now is that depressed estimates of long-run potential are being used to justify more austerity, which will depress the economy even further in the short run, leading to further depression of long-run potential, leading to …
It really is just like a medieval doctor bleeding his patient, observing that the patient is getting sicker, not better, and deciding that this calls for even more bleeding.
And the truly awful thing is that [David] Cameron and [George] Osborne are so deeply identified with the austerity doctrine that they can’t change course without effectively destroying themselves politically.
The other truly awful thing is that there are so many Americans politicians who are just as destructively reactionary as the British PM and his henchman, and working people will continue to suffer if they prevail. This is one reason why the Occupy movement in this country has to keep a high profile despite demolition of encampments by police.