The stereotype holds; the Liberal mindset is to throw money at a problem
From the center of Krugman’s op-ed, we get the familiar drill.
And the damage from sustained high unemployment will last much longer. The long-term unemployed can lose their skills, and even when the economy recovers they tend to have difficulty finding a job, because they’re regarded as poor risks by potential employers. Meanwhile, students who graduate into a poor labor market start their careers at a huge disadvantage — and pay a price in lower earnings for their whole working lives. Failure to act on unemployment isn’t just cruel, it’s short-sighted.
So it’s time for an emergency jobs program.
How is a jobs program different from a second stimulus? It’s a matter of priorities. The 2009 Obama stimulus bill was focused on restoring economic growth. It was, in effect, based on the belief that if you build G.D.P., the jobs will come. That strategy might have worked if the stimulus had been big enough — but it wasn’t. And as a matter of political reality, it’s hard to see how the administration could pass a second stimulus big enough to make up for the original shortfall.
Ok, first of all, the very people who voted for this Bozo and his programs are the people who will suffer the most. They voted with their hearts, not their heads. In school, they were taught to think with their hearts, not their heads, so this is not a big surprise. But will more of the same relieve the problem?
Notice how Krugman doesn’t question his worldview or his technique? That was a trick question because you can’t notice directly. It becomes evident when you read a young conservative on the topic of economic downturns
Do downturns create Democrats? The Great Depression certainly did: The generation that came of age in the 1930s has cleaved to the Democratic Party like no population before or since. And it makes intuitive sense that experiencing a recession at a formative age could inspire lifelong sympathy for the party of the welfare state and lifelong suspicion toward the party of free markets.
In a recent paper, “Growing Up In a Recession,” Paola Giuliano, an assistant professor of economics at U.C.L.A., and Antonio Spilimbergo, an economist at the International Monetary Fund, offer statistics to back this intuition up. Looking at over 40 years of survey data, the authors report that Americans who experienced “macroeconomic shocks” between the ages of 18 and 25 were more worried about poverty and inequality across their voting lives, and more skeptical about the wisdom of the market.
These findings track with the results of the 2008 election, when a cratering economy helped Barack Obama win an extraordinary landslide among young and first-time voters. And they provide grist for the liberal hope that the rising generation will prove as enduringly Democratic as that of their Depression-era grandparents, with George W. Bush playing Herbert Hoover to Obama’s F.D.R.
But the study shouldn’t make liberals too cocky. The authors find that growing up in a recession can encourage conservative instincts as well. Downturns make young voters distrustful of unfettered capitalism, yes. But they also make them less confident in the federal government.
This finding may explain why recent recessions have actually ended up pushing America rightward. The stagflation of the 1970s, for instance, and the hapless liberal response, helped usher in Ronald Reagan’s revolution. (The cohort that grew up with Reagan is the most staunchly Republican in modern history.) The slump of the early 1990s bolstered Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign — but it also gave a boost to the fiscally conservative populism of Ross Perot, and then to the Republican wave of 1994.
The basic assumption in the Krugman piece is: We know what will work but at this point it might be hard to get the dumb voters to join us, so let’s try something slightly less expensive, but still costing a bundle. The Douthat piece looks at the problem entirely differently: Economic problems arise and we know that the success of the fix tends to cement voter preferences, maybe for a lifetime.
They agree that these economic problems are screwing up the generation that is coming of age today. But the Liberal won’t even consider other possibilities to address the problem. He can’t and the people who have been educated in that paradigm can’t, because the whole house of cards will come tumbling down. The answer is a given; the question must follow.