Friday, October 17, 2008

What Is To Be Done 4

Paul Krugman on how to deal with the current recession, which he says will be nasty, brutish and long:

On the other hand, there’s a lot the federal government can do.... It can provide extended benefits to the unemployed, which will both help distressed families cope and put money in the hands of people likely to spend it. It can provide emergency aid to state and local governments, so that they aren’t forced into steep spending cuts that both degrade public services and destroy jobs. It can buy up mortgages (but not at face value, as John McCain has proposed) and restructure the terms to help families stay in their homes.

And this is also a good time to engage in some serious infrastructure spending, which the country badly needs in any case. The usual argument against public works as economic stimulus is that they take too long: by the time you get around to repairing that bridge..., the slump is over and the stimulus isn’t needed. Well,... the chances that this slump will be over anytime soon are virtually nil. So let’s get those projects rolling.


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