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Thread: How National Belt Tightening Goes Awry

  1. #1
    Havakasha is offline

    How National Belt Tightening Goes Awry

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/bu...view.html?_r=1


    How National Belt-Tightening Goes Awry
    By ROBERT J. SHILLER
    Published: May 19, 2012

    WHY is there such strong political support for fiscal austerity, for government cuts and layoffs, at a time of widespread unemployment?

    Maybe it’s because we have the wrong metaphor stuck in our minds, and it’s framing policy choices in a misleading way.

    Clearly, metaphors and other symbols carry real weight in our thinking, as has been shown by George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist at the University of California, Berkeley, and Mark Johnson, a philosopher at the University of Oregon. In their 1980 book, “Metaphors We Live By,” they argue, “Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.”

    Our metaphors are like the icons on our computer screen, little pictures by which we condense complexities into manageable packets to refer to in our decision-making. Our brains may be hard-wired for them.

    Consider our current thinking about taxes and government spending. We seem caught up in a “family belt-tightening” metaphor, in which the nation is a family that has outspent its income and is trying to get back in control. The family must cut profligate spending, save and pay down debts. It’s a powerful thought, of course, because we know that mismanagement of household finances can lead to a family’s ruin.

    But perhaps the most important lesson conveyed by the great economist John Maynard Keynes is that this metaphor, when applied to the national economy, is fundamentally misleading: what is smart for the family is not smart for society as a whole. This idea, sometimes known as the paradox of thrift, is that when we all tighten our belts at once, the economy is so weakened that we end up failing to save more, and instead are all worse off. When that happens, some collective action — government stimulus — is needed.



    Click on link and read the rest of the article.

  2. #2
    Havakasha is offline
    I think its a fairly interesting article and demonstrates some differences between family and Gov't finances.


    Have to go know. Busy working on my project. Look forward to reading your responses at a later date.

  3. #3
    Havakasha is offline
    This article is to be avoided at all costs by right wing ideologues.

    Causes them to go into serious convulsions.

  4. #4
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    SiriuslyLong's Avatar
    Joined: Jan 2009 Location: Ann Arbor, MI Posts: 3,560
    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    "Everyone" knows that ever increasing national debt is unsustainable, correct?

    What did you think Shiller would say? duh.

  5. #5
    Havakasha is offline
    Still havent addressed Shillers comments.


    Look over there.....

    Typical Siriuslywrong method.

  6. #6
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    SiriuslyLong's Avatar
    Joined: Jan 2009 Location: Ann Arbor, MI Posts: 3,560
    Quote Originally Posted by Havakasha View Post
    Still havent addressed Shillers comments.


    Look over there.....

    Typical Siriuslywrong method.
    Typical liberalspeak.................. Like I said above, "what did you think Shiller would say? duh." It's clear to me you all read off the same agenda.

    You still haven't addressed this: http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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