The Door to Recovery

All through the Depression influential voices warned about the dangers of excessive government spending, and as a result the job-creation programs of the New Deal were always far too small, given the depth of the slump. What the threat of war did was to finally silence the voices of fiscal conservatism, opening the door for recovery.

– Paul Krugman, End This Depression Now (2012)

In this week’s sift:

  • 77 CentsWho’s right about how much money women make and why?
  • Gays Need Not Apply. Richard Grenell’s resignation tells us that the Religious Right has Mitt Romney on a very short leash.
  • Where the Jobs Are and other short notesA great chart compares the Bush and Obama recoveries. The biggest difference between them is in government jobs — up for Bush, down for Obama.
  • Last week’s most popular post. Jesus Shrugged — why Ayn Rand and Christianity don’t mix got 357 views. It was another good week for short notes; Bad Arguments and other short notes was viewed 191 times. 41 of those viewers clicked, making it the week’s most-clicked link.
  • Book recommendation of the week. Probably I’ll say more about this next week, but Paul Krugman’s End This Depression Now is an excellent book. Nothing he says will surprise Krugman’s regular readers — or regular Sift readers, for that matter: He thinks the economy is suffering a failure of demand, which can be solved by more government stimulus spending, easy money by the Fed, and raising the inflation target to 4%. But it’s good to see all the pieces of Krugman’s view laid out end-to-end. He makes his case very clearly, and directly answers all the objections your friends are likely to raise.
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