@NYTimesKrugman on #austerity and Europe’s apparent death wish

What we’re actually seeing, however, is complete inflexibility. In March, European leaders signed a fiscal pact that in effect locks in fiscal austerity as the response to any and all problems. Meanwhile, key officials at the central bank are making a point of emphasizing the bank’s willingness to raise rates at the slightest hint of higher inflation.

So it’s hard to avoid a sense of despair. Rather than admit that they’ve been wrong, European leaders seem determined to drive their economy — and their society — off a cliff. And the whole world will pay the price.

There’s the classic definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results — but Krugman argues that this goes beyond even that.

It’s really hard to imagine any set of criteria whereby this obsession with austerity could be judged a success, unless the objective is to entrench and aggravate suffering, misery and dislocation.

Related posts:

@NYTimesKrugman: Panic of the Plutocrats | #OccupyWallStreet #classwarfare

It remains to be seen whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will change America’s direction. Yet the protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent.

A succinct and eloquent explanation of why the Occupy movement is prompting such a hysterical reaction. As Krugman argues:

“Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is.”

Too many gems to list here. Go read it now.