A big theme this past week has been the decline of the austerity movement.
Austerity has been discredited as a path to economic prosperity for a while. But last week, a paper by a Graduate Student (UMass Amherst’s Thomas Herndon) debunked the famous Reinhart & Rogoff study, which had claimed that growth slows precipitously when a country’s debt rises above 90% of GDP.
Then in Europe we’ve seen a backlash against austerity from various names, whether it’s the IMF criticising the UK, Bill Gross critizing the UK, or European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso talking about the limits to austerity.
And now all of this has broken through to the mainstream with last night’s Colbert Report, where Thomas Herndon was the guest.
Colbert had two segments devoted to making the austerians look like total laughing stocks.
One was the actual interview with Herndon. The other came as part of a news roundup, where he mocked Paul Ryan and “Rogaine and Braveheart.”
It’s one of those cultural moments where you can see the losing side made to look like total laughingstocks in mass media.
Below are the two clips, the first being the interview with Herndon, and the second is the broader discussion of how influential Reinhart and Rogoff were on politics.