Target.comIn a new piece up at The New Republic, Michael Kinsley defends the austerity crowd, and he ends his piece with this line:
When Krugman says he’s only worried about “premature” fiscal discipline, it becomes largely a question of emphasis anyway. But the austerians deserve credit: They at least are talking about the spinach, while the Krugmanites are only talking about dessert.
So Kinsley is saying that the problem with the economy is that we were bad and gorged ourselves on pie, and that now it’s time to suffer a bit and eat some bland spinach.
But this is nonsense. The economy is practically OD’ing on spinach.
To Michael Kinsley, we present all the spinach that’s being ingested.
For example, there’s the unemployment rate, which surged to virtually all-time highs. Is that not enough miserable spinach?
FREDThen there’s the explosion in people who are long-term unemployed.
Is that not enough pain and misery?
FREDNow remember, ground zero for the crisis was housing.
Here’s housing-prices (as measured by Case-Shiller) collapsing. Is that not enough payback for our gluttony?
FREDIf you’re worried about people eating their dessert before the healthy stuff, then you were probably pretty alarmed by the rise of household debt.
Lo and behold, household debt has been falling for the first time in history, and it continues to decline.
FREDWe could of course go on and on, but the point is clear: We’re eating tons of spinach.
Now give us our damn dessert!