And in some cases, build new stuff. Like a smart electrical grid–not that my desire to do so has anything to do with part of Boston’s power grid going down. Again.
One of the things I hated during the discussion of the ‘stimulus package’–which sounds kinda sexytime-ish–is that many people and many areas don’t need a ‘counter-cyclical stimulus.’ Or more accurately, they’ve needed stimulus for years or decades. Then there’s our collapsing infrastructure: recession or no, we need to fix all the broken shit. We have things we need doing, and unless there are limitations in the real economy (i.e., labor, resources, industrial capacity), we need to do them.
That’s why I can’t understand this bit at the end of an otherwise intelligent post by Ezra Klein (boldface mine):
We could spend more on teachers and classroom repairs now while passing budget cuts and tax increases that really kick in after unemployment has dropped to, say, 7 percent. We could rebuild the nation’s infrastructure while doubling down on our education reforms.
Charles Pierce regularly writes, “Fk the deficit. People got no jobs. Got no money.” Klein wants to tap on the brakes at seven percent strict (U3) unemployment? We shouldn’t even be thinking about anything else until we get to four percent. Because, Intelligent Designer forbid, after thirty years of wages circling around the bowl, a little wage inflation might happen. That would be a wonderful problem to have. Slowing down at seven percent U3 unemployment is just Hooverism lite. Until then, rebuild all the broken stuff.
And Klein is thought of as progressive.
This is yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.