July 8, 2013

AND IF JAPAN BOMBED PEAR HARBOR IN THE MORNING OF THIS DECEMBER 7TH...:

Defining Prosperity Down (PAUL KRUGMAN, July 7, 2013, NY Times)

Ask yourself the hard question: What, exactly, will bring us back to full employment? [...]

But won't voters eventually demand more? Well, that's where I get especially pessimistic.

You might think that a persistently poor economy -- an economy in which millions of people who could and should be productively employed are jobless, and in many cases have been without work for a very long time -- would eventually spark public outrage. But the political science evidence on economics and elections is unambiguous: what matters is the rate of change, not the level.

Put it this way: If unemployment rises from 6 to 7 percent during an election year, the incumbent will probably lose. But if it stays flat at 8 percent through the incumbent's whole term, he or she will probably be returned to power. And this means that there's remarkably little political pressure to end our continuing, if low-grade, depression.

Someday, I suppose, something will turn up that finally gets us back to full employment. But I can't help recalling that the last time we were in this kind of situation, the thing that eventually turned up was World War II.

...we'd nuke them by lunch time.  Technology redefined war long before it did manufacturing.  

To get back to "full employment" we'd only have to get rid of technology.  We have prosperity, we just don't have to work for it.
Posted by at July 8, 2013 5:00 AM
  
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