First Things, First: Jobs, Everything Else Is a Second Order Concern

Or as we like to say around here, people have to like this crap (boldface mine):

Dirty secret number two: This is a bogus recovery—and it’s going to poison society, unless we are wise enough to recover from the recovery. The rich are getting vastly richer, to the point that it’s absurd that anyone should be so rich. But the average household is getting poorer; and the poor are getting trampled. The US is becoming a caste society; and the divisions between the castes are widening. Investing in basic goods is the only way—the only way — to lift millions out of the ruins of imploded lives, and into prosperity again. Yes; the only way.

Selling doggy dating apps for billions while the average household can’t afford healthcare and education isn’t an economy — it’s a travesty. Too many of our growth industries produce low-paying service “jobs” that amount to essentially being maids and butlers to the super-rich. Sound like a healthy economy to you? I didn’t think so. Hence: invest in the basic building blocks of society — if, that is, it’s a functioning society we wish to enjoy.

Where will the money come from? …It doesn’t matter. Print it. Borrow it. Tax it from the super-rich, in whose coffers it’s merely sitting idly. It does not matter one bit. It’s a second order question. If the U.S. doesn’t invest in public goods, it will not prosper; and if it doesn’t prosper, it cannot pay off the debts it already has. Conversely, if it does invest in public goods, and creates millions of decent jobs, the source of investment will matter little; for the economy will have grown and people will be prosperous. We can debate until kingdom come whether to borrow; print; tax; and we should. But we are having a fake “debate” if we pretend that we cannot invest in society first; and then wring our hands that society is falling apart.

…The pundits don’t want you to know any of the above. They want you to believe that fixing the economy is unfeasible. It’s not. It’s simple. It’s straightforward. It’s obvious. It’s a problem whose solution is as plain as the sky on a perfect summer day.

It comes down to whether or not one believes that unemployment–along with the attendant underemployment, lower wages, and lousy working conditions–should be the highest and first economic priority. Anyone who raises inflation or other issues simply doesn’t believe that high unemployment is a problem.

Historians will look back upon the last half decade and wonder how so many Very Serious People were willing to sacrifice millions of jobs (and fixing all the broken things) upon the altar of 1.5 percent inflation*.

*I get the rich wanting to do this, but much of the chattering class seems to go along with this, so they too can feel like they’re rich. Doesn’t work that way.

This entry was posted in Economics. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to First Things, First: Jobs, Everything Else Is a Second Order Concern

  1. onkelbob says:

    The comments on the article over there are the same ones on Noah Smith’s Austrian Economists, 9/11 Truthers and Brain Worms; namely refute refute refute without any acknowledgement of the validity of the argument or attempts at presenting a coherent counter-argument.

  2. Pingback: Oh, make up your mind already! – Bridget Magnus and the World as Seen from 4'11"

  3. Pingback: Saturday Sermon: “[Economic] Depression Is a Choice” | Mike the Mad Biologist

Comments are closed.