Saturday, August 21, 2010

Policy elite writes off American workers!

Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman warns that a bipartisan consensus is emerging that writes off American workers by accepting high levels of unemployment as a structural characteristic of the global economy.

He warns:

I’m starting to have a sick feeling about prospects for American workers — but not, or not entirely, for the reasons you might think.

Yes, growth is slowing, and the odds are that unemployment will rise, not fall, in the months ahead. That’s bad. But what’s worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.

And I worry that those in power, rather than taking responsibility for job creation, will soon declare that high unemployment is “structural,” a permanent part of the economic landscape — and that by condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness, they’ll turn that excuse into dismal reality.

The article is linked.

1 comment:

Peter said...

The only real benefit of the current economic crisis is that it is exposing the truly structural problems that we have in our economy. This crisis did not result from a problem in a the financial markets -- it resulted from a structurally deficient economy, where working class people are getting screwed.

Yes, overfinancialization of the economy led to a dramatic destabilization. But that came about because the same factors that led to financialization led to a steep decline in worker bargaining power, which in turn led to a decline in real income for the masses.

What we have is a problem with the structure of our economy, and the only real solution to the crisis -- and a staving off of the "new normal" -- is a dramatic restructuring where workers' needs are put first. That is the only way to a sustainable recovery that actualizes American values like security, opportunity, dignity, justice, fairness and freedom.

But it's not going to come from above -- only when working folks decide that we're going to act collectively to solve the problems we didn't create but have to live with every day.