Paul Krugman argues that policy-makers have basically given up on dealing with unemployment, which he says is a tragedy. 14 million Americans are jobless, and millions more are forced to work part time because those are the only jobs they can get.
Krugman proposes three unorthodox ways to address unemployment, all of which are focused on easing our huge debt burden:
- Enact W.P.A.-type programs doing useful things like repairing roads. This would also raise incomes, allowing people to pay down debt.
- Get serious about mortgage modification, reducing the debts of homeowners.
- Try to get inflation back over 4 per cent, which would reduce the real burden of debt.
No sooner does he propose these remedies, however, than Krugman notes that they are politically impossible: The Republicans would block every one of them.